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Immigration Policy Changes will cost NZ Billions

Immigration Policy Changes will cost New Zealand billions

Consensus from the immigration industry is that the recently announced immigration policy changes will cost New Zealand in excess of $2 billion dollars in the next year.

“As well as reduced earnings by language schools, there will be increased difficulty sourcing entrepreneurs and skilled migrants with investment capital to contribute. Hardest hit will be a range of supplier businesses from real estate, food and transport.”

Many small consulting companies associated with investment and who had work in progress will lose millions of dollars in fees for work that will not now proceed.

Michael Barnett, Chief Executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, was commenting on indicative research conducted by the Auckland Chamber on some 40 immigration consultants over the past two days.

“It is very transparent that Government did not undertake a risk assessment before deciding to increase the English language benchmark that immigrants must meet to settle in New Zealand.

“I cannot believe that Government would knowingly throw away billions of dollars of investment potential. It is incredulous that a government claiming to want to increase the nation’s productivity kills off the golden goose with potential to lay a sustained supply of growth-fed eggs.”

Any policy change should have been strategised, worked through in consultation with business, and then introduced incrementally with a back-up plan to ensure no loss of investment.

While pleased that the Minister of Immigration had agreed to review policy in a bid to reduce impacts on the long-term investor programme, Mr Barnett said this would require some smart and fast footwork and a constructive response without too much delay. “It is very clear from the feedback to the Chamber that investment in general by non-English speaking people is also at risk - not just from Asians,” concluded Mr Barnett.

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