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NZ First Calls For Population Policy

7 December 2006

New Zealand First Calls For Population Policy

New Zealand First is backing the Auckland Regional Council's calls for a long-term national population policy to deal with growth pressures and economic development.

"Developing a population policy that integrates immigration policy and economic policy is part of New Zealand First's Immigration policy. In addition to toughening our immigration laws and bringing them into line with other developed nations, we need to ensure that in the long term we are actually meeting genuine labour and market demands," said New Zealand First Associate Immigration spokesperson Peter Brown.

"As the 2006 Census clearly demonstrates, there has been a huge shift in demographics and immigration will continue to play a major part in the diversification of New Zealand communities, especially immigration from countries in Asia.

"New Zealand has one of the largest per capita permanent migration programmes in the world and has had for many years, yet we have failed to deliver strong economic performance. The relatively poor performance of the New Zealand economy has resulted in a high rate of net overseas migration, and we as a country need to ask ourselves what it is we want.

"We cannot afford an immigration policy characterised by big numbers and little thought. If immigration is going to play a vital role in shaping the future of New Zealand we need to adopt a formal population policy that takes into consideration skilled migration, economic development and public support in order to achieve economic sustainability," concluded Mr Brown.

ENDS

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