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Cunliffe Proposals Unlikely To End Drought


For release: 6 June 2007 (7.30 pm)

Cunliffe Proposals Unlikely To End Active Investor Migrant Drought

The migration consultants' national organisation has welcomed changes to policy indicated today by the Minister of Immigration, the Hon. David Cunliffe.

However, the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI) has questioned whether Mr Cunliffe's proposals will do much to combat the current drought in 'Active Investor' migration.

The NZAMI's Chairman, Bernard Walsh, describes the Minister's speech to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, as notable for the emphasis placed on long-term, underlying objectives.

"We certainly welcome this emphasis, as, over the years, there has been far too much short-term thinking in the formulation of immigration policy and an unwillingness to harness it to our overall economic goals as a nation.

"Similarly, we welcome indications of change in Skilled Migrant policy and, particularly, the minister's commitment to a more flexible interpretation of what constitutes skilled employment.

"The abandonment of stringent English language tests and age limits for active investors are also sensible and necessary steps. However, these and other Active Investor Policy measures, will only have a chance of working, if taxation and investment policy are harmonised with immigration policy," he says.

"Even with the best possible policy mix, we would still need to be realistic over the levels of active investor migration we can attract, given the overall state and size of our economy, as compared with those of other potential migrant destinations.

"With only 18 successful applicants in the year to date under current investor policy, we clearly have a huge task ahead of us if we are to benefit substantially as a nation from the global market in active investor migration. The policy changes outlined by the Minister thus represent a very small step in the right direction.

"We would welcome discussions with Mr Cunliffe and his team over how to maximise the benefit to New Zealand of Active Investor Policy," Mr Walsh adds.


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