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ACT Needs To Get Its Facts Right

10 April 2002

“Christian Heritage hopes if ACT is part of the Government it will get facts right instead of politicking.” Christian Heritage Immigration Spokesperson Rosemarie Thomas said today.

“From Richard Prebble’s latest Letter from Wellington (8 April 2002), it appears that ACT has not kept pace with the Governments Immigration changes announced last year. Maybe the ACT policy people need to study the current immigration legislation,” she said.

The Letter from Wellington states: “The government’s decision to lift the overall immigration target coincides with an alarming drop in the quality of immigrants. Most are unskilled, such as those accompanying family members - i.e. school children - and those who qualify on family re-unification or humanitarian grounds, including refugees.”

“The reality,” said Ms Thomas, “is that changes to Immigration requirements last year make it impossible for families to sponsor relatives, unless the sponsor has had Permanent Residence for three years. There is no doubt that the coming three years will see a massive decline in Family Category sponsored migrants arriving in New Zealand.

“While it is true many who come under the Family Category are unskilled, there is no doubt they make an important contribution to New Zealand’s economy. Last year’s changes also make it even more difficult for migrants to go on benefits until after they have had Permanent Residence for two years. Something the CHP supports. The changes also should see more qualified people arriving in New Zealand.

“The Humanitarian Category was also stopped last year,” she said.

The CHP acknowledge there needs to be debate about the Refugee Policy, but ACT’s press release implies their debate is broader than just discussing this Category.

The Act Letter goes on to say: “Even those who qualify on “points” are not as well qualified as the Kiwis who are leaving. How many foreign doctors do we need driving taxis?”

But, the door for unregistered doctors has been closed. The door was actually opened for unregistered doctors under the last National Government.

“While Christian Heritage welcomes debate on Immigration Policy, first of all let’s make sure there is at least an understanding of the current policy,” Rosemarie Thomas concluded.

END

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