Immigration review: need to know Carrying Capcity
Immigration Act review won’t work unless we know our Carrying Capacity
“The Government’s forthcoming review of the Immigration Act will not be worth commencing unless we do some out of the box strategic thinking about the purpose of immigration”, says Robin Gunston, Chairperson of New Zealand independent think tank, Futures Thinking Aotearoa.
“For many years successive Governments have tinkered with immigration, as if immigrants were a tap one could turn on and off”, he said.
“New Zealand needs to have a comprehensive national debate about how many people we think this country should carry over the next 50-100 years, so that we can plan carefully for our future infrastructure, where people may live and work and how their beliefs and values will fit in with the New Zealand prevailing culture.”
“At present”, said Mr Gunston, “if we are to further expand our economy in a sustainable fashion the issue of Carrying Cpacity should be foremost in our mind, however despite approaches to Ministers of Immigration, and immigration officials over several years, FTA has been unable to get any understanding within Government of how vitally important this notion is to the future of our country”.
“There are companies, councils and communities making plans for the future based on false premises because the one unknown variable in our demographic projections is the number and type of immigrants we may decide to admit. As we know from previous experience with large scale immigration, this can radically alter the face of local communities and put undue pressures on providers of services such as schools and hospitals.”
“We call on the Government to look at this key issue of Carrying Capacity before embarking on any review of this Act” said Mr Gunston.