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Government meets immigration programme

Hon Paul Swain
Minister of Immigration


13 July 2005
Media Statement

Government meets immigration programme

The government has met its immigration programme objectives for the 2004/05 financial year, Immigration Minister Paul Swain announced today.

Mr Swain said that the objective had been 45,000 new residents, with an allowance to approve an additional 5,000 if necessary.

Mr Swain said 48,815 people were granted residency under the New Zealand Immigration Programme (NZIP). Of these, 29,826 were approved under Skilled/Business immigration categories, including the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC).

“While the government is investing heavily to give New Zealanders skills training, low unemployment and skill shortages mean that immigration is one of the ways employers find the skilled people they need,” Mr Swain said.

“Through the SMC, we are attracting the quality migrants including teachers, nurses, tradespeople and IT professionals. What's more, 87 per cent of people under this category had a skilled job or job offer at the time they were granted residence.

“Around 60 per cent of those jobs were also in areas other than Auckland, meaning all of New Zealand is seeing the benefits of immigration.”

Mr Swain said Cabinet has decided to leave the 2005/2006 immigration programme objective at the same level as last year - 45,000, with an allowance to approve an additional 5,000 if necessary.

“The objective for this financial year takes into account our need to continue to attract skilled migrants, economic conditions, and our country’s ability to absorb the new residents,” Mr Swain said.

The remainder of the immigration programme includes the Family Sponsored and an International / Humanitarian residence stream. Last year, 18,989 new residents were approved under these streams.

ENDS

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