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National’s Immigration Policy: ‘Come One Come All’

Media Release

5 September 2008

National’s Immigration Policy: ‘Come One Come All’

National’s newly released immigration policy shows the party has learnt nothing from its previous immigration failings, says New Zealand First associate immigration spokesman Peter Brown.

“The priorities of our immigration policy must be to ensure that those coming in are doing so to fill genuine labour shortages that cannot be filled by Kiwis, and to ensure that those arriving are of good health and character, and can integrate into our society. National’s plan lacks this necessary focus,” said Mr Brown.

“Instead, National plans to throw open the borders in a style reminiscent of the ‘come one, come all’ open-door policy they oversaw in the 1990’s. This will further depress our already low wages, and put further pressure on housing and infrastructure in cities like Auckland.

“Particularly concerning however, is their plan to lower the English language requirement. National was to blame for flooding this country with people who could not speak English and who were either unwilling or unable to integrate. Thankfully, Labour listened to New Zealand First’s concerns and tightened language and health requirements.

“National further claims that it wants to attract Kiwis back from overseas, yet pushes policies that would see returnees put on a 90 day fire-at-will period and have their holiday entitlements scaled back. Such policies are likely to force more people to leave, not attract them back.

“Unlike National, we would make Immigration New Zealand a stand alone service like Customs or the Police. They want to combine the service with the Department of Internal Affairs, a department responsible for the Fire Service, Civil Defence, gambling and the registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Such a move is a most unusual widening of the responsibility of an Immigration service, and is somewhat illogical.

“Overall, the policy is a prime example of the woolly-heading thinking we have come to expect of the National party when it comes to immigration,” said Mr Brown.


ENDS

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