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Cosgrove backs ‘who you know’ immigration policies

Lockwood Smith MP
National Party Immigration Spokesman

5 September 2008

Cosgrove backs ‘who you know’ immigration policies

National Party Immigration spokesman Lockwood Smith is making no apologies for an immigration framework that focuses on skills and investment as opposed to Labour’s “who you know” policies.

“Under Labour, the Immigration Service has been mired in controversy, as staff and Ministers have been linked to a 'who you know' approach to immigration applications.

“National rejects that approach.”

Dr Smith is responding to Labour’s sad attempts to criticise National’s immigration policy which deliberately focuses on attracting more Kiwis home, targeting investment, and recruiting the skilled migrants we need.

“Clayton Cosgrove, and his predecessor David Cunliffe, might be happy to let the claims of corruption and fraud continue to swirl around the department – National is not prepared to let that situation continue.”

Dr Smith says Immigration Minister Clayton Cosgrove’s hysterical rantings over National’s plan to remove layers of bureaucratic red tape for skilled immigrants are a front for his Government’s failings in this area.

“Mr Cosgrove clearly can’t get his head around the fact that immigration policy is largely about attracting the right skills and investment to allow our economy to grow.

“Labour’s economic complacency has led to a record number of departures – we need consistent immigration policy to help fill those gaps.”

Dr Smith says National will:

• Set realistic investment capital and English language requirements for business immigrants.

• Require approvals to better match the experience of potential business immigrants with their proposed investment in New Zealand.

• Focus the assessment of success for long-term business visa holders seeking residence in New Zealand on job creation and export earnings.

“We will also put measures in place to ensure that Kiwis living overseas will be given better incentives to return home.”

ENDS

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