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UF calls for 10-year population strategy

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

UF calls for 10-year population strategy

United Future wants New Zealand to have a 10-year population strategy to identify the economic, social and policy impacts of immigration so that it can properly planned, Paul Adams said in announcing the party's immigration policy today.

"We don't plan; it is all far to ad hoc - and New Zealand is suffering and many of our recent arrivals are suffering as a result of that failure," Mr Adams, United Future's immigration spokesman, said.

He said the plan should look at maintaining, if not increasing, the current net migration inflow of 10,000 residents a year.

United Future was also calling for comprehensive and integrated immigrant settlement programmes, developed in consultation with the Federation of Ethnic Councils, to ensure information and support is available for all new arrivals.

"We particularly want to see this in areas such as language, customs, job placement programmes, and health and social services," Mr Adams said.

He said particular effort needed to be focused on those who are arriving under family or humanitarian quotas, who might not meet other entry criteria.

"Basically, the faster we get them functioning and contributing in this country, the better for them and the nation."

Under United Future policy announced today all migrants would be encouraged to "consider themselves New Zealanders", he said.

"We would want the New Zealand way of life promoted; they are after all coming to this country. So while supporting ethnic associations and their right to express their own cultural heritage, we should openly promote the cultural heritage that is providing them with a new home, in its pastimes, its pursuits and its values.

"That is a very much a key to social harmony in the years ahead," he said.

ENDS

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