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A senior moment from Winston?

Friday, 17 June 2005

A senior moment from Winston?

United Future immigration spokesman, Paul Adams, says New Zealand First leader Winston Peters' call for the government to adopt New Zealand First's immigration policy is more than a little curious, in light of the fact that he voted against changes to tighten the skilled migrant category this Parliamentary term.

"In 2003 Winston and his followers voted against the Immigration Amendment Bill that enabled the government to prioritise the residency applications of those who actually have skills we want plus a job offer that is relevant to those skills.

"This was in spite of New Zealand First's 2002 policy commitment to "give greater priority to immigrants who have the skills and qualifications necessary to further regional economic and social goals", which has re-appeared in their 2005 platform."

Mr Adams said United Future, on the other hand, was the only other party in Parliament that supported this legislation.

"We believe in an active immigration policy, but also one that is 'smart' about the people it brings here, prioritising the applications of those who actually have skills we want and a job offer that is relevant to those skills.

"The global marketplace for skilled people is highly competitive, and we need to be doing so much more to attract people to this country, including drawing ex-pats home, by making New Zealand the best place in the world to raise a family.

"A vote for New Zealand First this year will send the message to the world that New Zealanders are backward-looking protectionists who want to put up walls around our country. That is surely a recipe for getting left behind.

"Winston may not remember how he voted on any given day, but he must remember what a dreary place New Zealand was when for too long it tried to shut itself off from the rest of the world," said Mr Adams.

ENDS

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