Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says 'not fixated on numbers' in immigration debate; More focussed on 'getting our system right'

By Alex Tarrant

New Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern says she will stick with the party’s immigration policy, but doesn’t seem as fixated on a ‘target’ related to net migration figures as predecessor Andrew Little.

Speaking on Radio NZ Tuesday morning, Ardern said immigration policy needed to allow migrants into the country to plug skills gaps, and that any crack-down under Labour would still focus on education-related visas.

The policy states that visas should only be issued for ‘high-quality’ tertiary education courses, and that international students would not all have a right to work - only if it was required as part of a course.

Labour’s policy was announced by Little back in June with much fanfare surrounding the quantity of migrants Labour would look to cut back on.

Unfortunately, most of the debate – not just from Labour but by others like New Zealand First’s Winston Peters – focussed on reducing the headline annual net migration figure of 72,000 – which has continued to hit record highs in recent months.

Little said Labour’s policy would look to reduce the net migrant figure by 20,000 to 30,000 by cutting the amount of study visas and post-study work visas. Peters has talked about reducing the 72,000 to 10,000.

However, the problem is that the net migration figure they refer to includes New Zealand (and Australian) citizens who have the right to return to and leave the country as they wish (including your correspondent, who returned after four years in London in December 2016).

Theoretically, it could post a reading of a 70,000 inflow without any non-citizens coming to New Zealand at all – ie in theory it could all be returning Kiwis. Promising to reduce study visas by 20,000 to 30,000 does not automatically imply that net migration will fall by the same amount, as Labour has tried to argue.

Immigration New Zealand in 2016 set a residency visa target of 85,000 to 95,000 over the next two years (down from 90,000-100,000 previously). Little in June said Labour would not lower that target – even though it only relates to non-citizens and is not bumped around by returning/leaving Kiwis.

So, it will be interesting to see if Ardern’s comments on Tuesday flagged a shift – even slightly – in Labour’s messaging. While 20-30,000 was “still the estimate we have” in terms of how many visas might be affected, Ardern said she was “not fixated on numbers; I’m fixated on meeting the market need.”

Labour had made estimates when the policy was announced on the impact its policy would have on numbers. “But…I’m much more focussed on making sure we’re getting our system right. The numbers are simply guesstimates we make based on those adjustments,” Ardern said.

“All we’re trying to do [with the education visa policy] is make sure that we’re bringing in individuals into top-quality courses. We’re making sure they’re not exploited, that we’re giving people the best opportunity in our education system possible, and maintaining our reputation. We think that’s the right thing to do,” she said.

Labour was concerned that the government did not have a good enough planning regime to deal with population growth, Ardern said. Stats NZ on Monday announced the population had grown by 390,000 to 4.8 million over the past five years, with net migration representing a growing chunk over that time; In the last June year, the population grew by 100,000 with net migration contributing 72,000 and the natural rate the remainder.

“While we need to play some catch-up, get our housing market rectified, ensure that we’re dealing with our congestion issues, we should be finding ways to make sure then our skills gaps, where we do have them, allow migrants to come in and meet them,” Ardern said. Labour wanted inflows to be targeted at ‘the regions’ and not Auckland, she said.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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108 Comments

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I want to see a party that has policy to significantly reduce the residency visa target. This is the key driver of long term population growth and what I believe underpins many of NZ's structural economic problems.
Also, I will state my bias in that I like open space and the freedom to go fishing on a deserted beach or river etc, and don't want to live (or my children/grandchildren etc to live) in just another crowded country.

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Same old , same old .

Has anyone not figured out that we have a housing shortage ( along with its evil twin homelessness) directly attributable to the game of bullrush we call our immigration policy .

Does Labour not see this ?

I would have thought that the $100mil spend on driving lesson etc ( which already exists in the curriculums) was better spent buying / building 100 - 150 houses for the needy?
And yet they havent seen what's in the Gov coffers ....
Wait until they do that next week .... it will be Xmas all over

It doesnt matter. No political party wants to prick the housing bubble, or put the country into recession while they are in Govt. So they will just kick the can down the road, make it some future govt's problem, while they get to trumpet headline GDP numbers that make them look like superstars. It won't end until we end up like middle America, with everyone on low wage jobs and living in trailer parks. Maybe then we'll get angry too.

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We cannot just bring in more people if simply we cannot house them , so no matter who is in power , we are going to have to change the way we do things .

Its like Labour wanting to double the number of refugees each year ............. where are we going to house destitute refugees when we have Kiwis allegedly living in cars without access to basic housing .

Its all very well to say we will build 100,000 houses , but there are some pert questions to ask :-

Where ?
How long will resource consent take ?
How long will it take to service greenfield sites and sections with water , sewage , power and fibre ?
Who will build the houses in the middle of a labour shortage , when we cant even get a painter to paint our house right now ?
How on earth will will we pay for these houses which the State intends to build ?

The Kiwi taxpayer is stretched already , any increases in taxation to go on a massive public works program will tip the whole edifice over .

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They will do what Australia has done - turf all the citizens out of their public housingand give it to the refugees, while the citizens live in cardboard boxes on the CBD streets. Have you been to Melbourne or Sydney lately? The housing estates are all African and Middle Eastern, while the hordes of homeless on the streets are all white Australians. There seems to be some perverse policy infiltrating the western world, where the wants and needs of immigrants are given a higher priority than the wants and needs of native born citizens.

True ...

George Soros funds a lot of this breaking down borders/cultures policy.

Well there is one government happy to prick and they have and that is the Chinese Communist Government

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"(a clarion call from the 60's)

Here we go again!! .... very fluid party ... !!! ... Trust and love are both BLIND ! as they say, they both lead to disappointment ...

Not that fluid:

"New Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern says she will stick with the party’s immigration policy"

the policy is the same, she's just talking about it slightly differently. Did you notice the National Party's extremely 'fluid' announcement on boot camps yesterday?

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Arden's announcement is a significant shift from Labours previous policy aimed at stemming the tide of humanity that is wrecking Auckland. She now says the changes to Labour's immigration policy will result in it being focussed on 'meeting the markets needs'. Exactly what Woodhouse is claiming the recent changes to National policy are aimed at doing. In other words the business community will decide the level of immigration.There is now little difference between the two main party policies.

Perhaps she has perceived the backlash from heartland NZ over her water tax and is trying to soften the blow.

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She just made my mind up! Go Winnie!

I searched your somewhat unusual name and it came up "translate' from a foreign language , so I assume you are from elsewhere.

If you are a migrant, then welcome to NZ , I like they way you think and your comments are spot on , and we probably need more sensible migrants like you ( assuming you are a migrant) .

Winston is a stroppy bugger and is the only bloke in Parliament who calls a spade a spade , but he can be a bit sneaky at times , and many people dont trust him , but I think I will vote for him , if for no other reason , that he will insist as part of a coalition deal to cut migration until we have built enough houses for everyone .

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Yeah, I'm thinking the same boaty. Can't wait to see his (W Peters) reaction to this latest steaming pile of bullshit from our so called Human Rights outfit; they want to strengthen our blasphemy laws. What is happening to our country and who is standing against this creeping attack on our liberties?
https://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2017/08/susan-devoy-wants-strengthen-not-remo...

What is 'hate speech'?
If I call Islam a 'horrid religion' with 'horrid values' does that qualify as 'hate speech'?
Or does 'hate speech' need to include violent or threatening language?
If it's the former then I'm with you David.

I don't know Fritz, it's hard to keep up. One things for sure S Devoy doesn't have this in mind:
Blasphemy: A law to protect an all powerful Supernatural Deity from getting it's feelings hurt. Here's Niall Ferguson on our disappearing right to freedom of speech.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2017/08/07/the-biggest-threat-free-s...

Yes.
I am totally against racism.
But religion and people's values should be fair game for debate.
Personally I am a liberal Christian (albeit with some non-conventional views on theology), I would hate for people to be banned for questioning and criticizing Christianity.
It is abhorrent to me that people cannot criticize Islam when it is full of its own inherent prejudices and hate text. Read the Koran if you don't believe me. And you can only take the 'metaphorical language' line so far....

Careful there Fritz, even that comment will probably not be acceptable under the proposed changes. It's bad enough now; I was banned from this site for blasphemy.
"If the criterion for censorship is that nobody’s feelings can be hurt, we are finished as a free society." N Ferguson

It's pretty scary stuff.

Fritz, the other day you wanted me banned for something Double-GZ wrote which wasn't really even offensive. What a joke you are!

Comedian's are doomed.

Play the ball, not the man?

If Labour do outdo National at the polls, which at this point in time looks somewhat likely for a whole lot of shall we say, unusual reasons, then can only agree with you both that Winston will be vital in terms of a handbrake or as the Americans like to say, a safety brake. So while I have to give my electoral vote to the Labour candidate because she has is outstanding, the party vote has to be NZF, safety first! And if it does outcome as a Labour/NZF government then would imagine the question of immigration will be the first telling indication as to how the balance of power will sit between the two. Sort of strategic voting but more like a bob each way I suppose.

Thank you Boatman, and yes I'm a migrant that earned my keep from day 1, not expecting to make money off the locals, or any other leech activity (free healthcare, education etc.) that's currently been happening. I bought into the kiwi lifestyle, and embrace it, and want to protect it.

There's a saying: "How do you know a politician's lying? When he/she opens his/her mouth." At least WP believes himself, and that's good enough for me.

My name is a venomous tree-snake, hard to spot, stealthy.

South African?

What gave it away?

"the only bloke in Parliament who calls a spade a spade"

In our current politically correct society only someone of a Maori ethnic background is allowed to call a spade a spade. I suspect this says more about society than it says about Mr Peters.

Well Wilde's Mrs Bracknell sorted that one out a long time ago when she said something like. I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade.

ps, these days she would have had to say I am glad to say that I have never seen a domestic horticultural implement. That would rather weaken the wit,

So long as one is not subject to comment on the platform.

Second that. Again Labour too scared of ruffling feathers. Go NZ First.

"Theoretically, it could post a reading of a 70,000 inflow without any non-citizens coming to New Zealand at all – ie in theory it could all be returning Kiwis."
Clearly the author does not understand the concept of "net" as opposed to "gross". There are not just 70,000 people arriving in the country, there are around 140,000 people arriving, and around 70,000 leaving. So even if 70,000 Kiwi's returned to NZ there are still another 70,000 non-Kiwi's arriving. And most of those leaving are also Kiwi's going to Australia - so a net inflow of 70,000 Kiwi's only would require not only just stopping all non-Kiwi's entering the country but also preventing all Kiwi's from leaving the country.

Hi K.W.

70,000 Kiwis could return home, while no one leaves. I know that's not likely - that's why I say 'theoretically'. The point is that anyone arguing that they want to restrict those PLT net migration figures as produced by Stats NZ to say 50,000 or 10,000 rather than 70,000 also needs to be able to answer whether they would stop NZers coming home in order to meet such a target.

You can't do that, so that's why it's silly talking about that net migration tally while discussing how many non-NZ citizens we should or want to be allowing into the country. 

Cheers

Alex

Its NOT silly to think about overall population change. I think all parties would clearly say they can't stop NZ'ers returning home. However if a party wanted to target say 30k net immigration they could say so and then design a mechanism to adjust the non-citizen arrrivals, for example using a 3 month historical average to adjust thresholds. Yes, there is a lower bound (non-citizen arrivals cut to zero), but it is clearly possible to target an overall net migration tally.

Or even include births/deaths and target overall population growth. Seems more sensible planning than "oh well we can't stop NZers coming home so lets not talk about it"

Labour is merging rhetoric with National, its a good move.

So,,, when she goes and has a child in 2 years time the new leader can change it back to +80,000 immigrants?!

And likewise if one of Bill English's scandals finally catches up with him and forces him out. That's the trouble with the future - very difficult to know what's in it.

NZ need to increase immigration not to reduce to support our economic growth. We are really difficult to hire labour in Southland.

There's over half a million Kiwis in Aussie. Have you tried recruiting there? What response did you get?

Have you heard of increasing efficiency and productivity?

No, that's been banned because growth (by definition) is "not sustainable".

I don't understand. Doing something more efficiently and/or with fewer resources is more sustainable isn't it?

Apologies, I am just parroting some of the nonsense that has been spoken on this site. It gives me a giggle.

I suggest you Google "Jevons Paradox".

Even in the narrow circumstance of Jevons Paradox (if we are in one, which is not proven) doing something more efficiently and/or with fewer resources still increases sustainability.

That, along with actual growth, also has its limit, it is like thinking that one day someone will run 100 metres in nothing flat

Pay some higher wages Kelfy. People will flood to Southland. You have plenty of employing farmers rolling in cash there, I know some of them, would not be hard for them to pay a better wage.
Look at a parallel example, the Southland Polytech offer courses without charging fees. Folk from all over the country have no trouble getting there to use that.

And what sort of income is offered kelfy?

No doubt one that allows you to buy a house at a lower multiple than 10x earnings

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More back peddling. No CGT. No super age increase. Now no real cuts to immigration.

Low quality, high quantity immigration is causing permanent damage. It must be stopped. I was hoping Labour might do this but it looks like I'll have to tick WINston again.

Where is the back pedaling? There's no policy change here.

Oh no...... has Labour flip-flopped AGAIN on Capital Gains Tax ?

On Sunday Robertson ( shadow Finance Minister no less ) said CGT was back on the table .

Labour are starting to look like a somersault act in a circus .

No current plans for CGT, but it's not off the table for the tax working group they would set up in power. How is this a change from the policy before Ardern took over?

I always think it's stupid when a party outright rules out certain tax changes - how do they know what will be the most suitable policy in several years time? Especially when you're an opposition party and lack access to the government's research + economics infrastructure.

Far better to be open like this than rule things out and have to back track like John Key's National government
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3311679/Key-no-GST-rise-video-e...

No CGT. No reduction in immigration. Now I read an article just posted that she wants LVR's removed. I think Labour would make the housing crisis worse.

CGT has not been ruled out, the policy is still to reduce immigration with their best estimate being 20,000 -> 30,000 a year fewer net migrants (many variables so hard to be precise). Agree the LVR comments are disappointing.

Under the current political system, all parties will abide to business and capital. So, your voice will be irrelevant. But you will continue to have the illusion that your voice matters.

Parties' job is to package business' needs into a digestible and palatable form of messages to lure voters. Whichever party does the best job in doing so will get the office and hold onto it until voters no longer have the illusion of their voice being heard.

Then, this cycle will repeat, and the capital will always triumph.

Is this a bad thing, and if so why?

It is far to simple to categorize things into good or bad, black or white.

I agree, but am perhaps not so fatalistic to suppose people can make no difference. A small chilly can have a effect on a quite large volume of food.

The world is a far, far better place by most measures now in countries with similar political systems to NZ than it was a century ago, or even a few decades ago. Workers rights and standards of living have improved beyond measure. The direction of progress isn't always one way and there will be temporary slip ups, but the political system seems to have done a mostly very good job to me.

I like to think Winston Peters is the one person (in the mould of Muldoon) with the strength of character to be impervious to the Lobbyists, Influencers, Vested Interests, Urgers and Shysters, Pushers, Manicurists, Dealers, Boosters, Peak Bodies, Influence Peddlers, Power Brokers, Rent Seekers

I agree. I can't bring myself to vote for him, but I figure he will frustrate the heck out of the change merchants for the next three years. Ultimately he will likely bring a labour government to power through his actions, but I expect to be semi retired by then so "let's tax this" wont affect me.

true as

c'mon, try labour and national grand coalition and let WP retire once for all

Can't do that - We need him to drain the swamp

Here's simple rule copied from across the ditch.
Put a restriction on overseas buyer to buy only new development. More houses will be built to meet demand while local buyers can buy existing homes.

Too easy
Too simple

Has been proposed here many times (as you know)

1st, you have to accept foreign buyers are the problem. At 3%, no problem at all.

You are easily fooled

Sarcasm button not working?

You can't just build a house on any old piece of land you know, Council's have seen the end to that idea.

Well they did in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.. thousands of apartments are on the market (and they are way way better built than those in Auckland and Wellington)

1. What makes you think apartments in Australian cities are better built than those in NZ (tell him he's dreaming)?

2. Even if we did build on any old bit of land in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane - how does that help Auckland?

Because I stayed in 3 different apartments in Auckland (two of them were premium apartments) before I bought my own house, and stayed in 2 different apartments in Brisbane.. first hand experience!

But that is only anecdotal evidence, and not build experience. If that were our standard just about everyone would qualify as an expert.

As a counter point I have run a business in Sydney for 19 years and though have rented four separate premises in that time - I have yet to rent a commercial premise in Sydney where the roof does not leak.

The kind of cheap double brick construction they use in Sydney is illegal in NZ it's so deficient from an engineering point of view.

That's not what I've heard. Apparently they leak and are full of concrete cancer and shouldn't be touched with a bargepole.

Labour's emphasis on student visas and removing the (recently introduced) right to work while studying is an excellent initial focus;

https://enz.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Student-Visa-Dashboard-for-July-2017.pdf

The real pressure is Auckland and this focus addresses that.

It's a first things first approach. I do wonder whether they will apply that work restriction retrospectively though. Doubt it, but that would be interesting - and would pretty much give us a good indication whether it was the education or the work that many of these student visa holders came over for..

Agree, very sensible approach

Kate - thanks for the link. You must be unemployed to spend so much time finding great links. Oh and writing so much fact-based sense on this blog site.

You're welcome and thanks for the compliment! The info I get from reading this and lots of other news/media sites is an integral part of my work.

The author should concentrate on figures for permanent residency. (47,684 last year). Kiwis returning is irrelevant and so are temporary work visas. Note the later are fairly easy to control by (a) charging the employers more (b) adjusting the quotas.

I disagree with Jacinda about "“All we’re trying to do [with the education visa policy] is make sure that we’re bringing in individuals into top-quality courses."" I have seen PNG citizens arrive for short learn to fly courses at Ardmore and two year nursing courses - the point is not the courses it is the associated work visa. If NZ education is good it does not need to offer the work carrot.

I would like to see immigration greatly reduced - and I mean permanent residency that leads to citizenship - but Winston will never get it to 10,000 because last year there were 12,873 who qualified by a marriage/partnership with a Kiwi. Add a reasonable number of humanitarian (last year 4,021) and it is hard to see a realistic figure below 20,000.

But even more important than the lack of a population policy is the willingness to accept rorts and corruption. Get rid of the widespread cheating and I'll lose interest in blogging about immigration.
See Dr Stringer's report about widespread exploitation with its reports of naive female immigrants being pushed into prostitution to pay back the agents who helped them arrive in NZ.

I value some of Winston's rhetoric - it's a necessary counterpoint to the 'high immigration at all costs brigade' - but 10,000 is far too low.
We truly need skilled immigrants in areas such as health and care. My mother lives in a dementia home, 80-90% of the staff are Filipino / Indian, they are brilliant. With an ageing population, we will need more of these great people.
We need to cut back on the dodgy student visas, as Labour are proposing, and also some of the questionable so called skill shortage areas.
I think realistically though it's hard to get below 40-50K though.

So in my opinion we need to accept this and move on.
But....we need lots more houses. The govt must get much more active on this front.

Fritz - pleased to hear your mother is being looked after well. And I agree that Filipino care givers are wonderful (something to do with their culture). I have a nephew married to a Filipino nurse (expert in dealing with severe burns victims) and a nicer better person I have never met. And until a few weeks ago I would have just given you a thumbs up but since then I read in "The British Dream" that the UK had the same experience with care-giving jobs mainly going to Filipinos until the government tightened its regulations and then salaries went up and suddenly UK citizens began to work as care-givers.

Filipino and Asian care-givers can only be a short or medium term solution - eventually they will retire and their countries will get richer and sadly NZ may sink even further (OECD from about 1st to about 30th in my lifetime). We must begin to tackle this problem of low status but important jobs that Kiwis are unwilling to do.

Eventually we will realise that a care-giver and a dairy manager are more important than computer programming, fashion designing, office administrating, marketing and even journalist on sites like this. And set salaries accordingly.

Good points Lapun!

Yes, there are rightful identified skill shortage areas - aged care being one. I do think some of our past labour shortages in the elder care sector will be sorted via the pay equity claim success, but the $2b allocated presently is seen to be underfunded. So some budgeting work to be done there.

I agree that all staff working in elder care are kind, hard working people and they all deserve higher wage rates regardless of country of origin.

One problem beyond the aged care sector is however the pay equity bill in Parliament now. It stifles, rather than progresses pay equity - Labour have pledged to scrap it and start over;

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/337054/labour-pledges-to-scrap-p...

We do need to find a way to transition from a low wage economy.

Couldn't agree more about the rorts, corruption and exploitation issue - that needs very strong action/enforcement. Here's another example from the hort sector;

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/95595998/the-apple-and-pear-industry-we...

Thanks for the link. It seems New Zealand's spotless reputation is being lost. Similar articles have been written by Filipino journalists about exploitation in NZ's dairy industry.

The trouble with reputation is it is so easy to lose it and it takes maybe two generations to regain. For example as a little kid in the fifties Japanese goods were thought of as cheap and shoddy and now Japanese manufacturing is considered the best but it had to be faultless for a long time to be appreciated.

Hi Lapun - that's in the article. I say it's unfortunate that everyone's just focussed on the PLT net migration figures (better headlines) when talking about immigration - and that Little said he wouldn't alter the permanent residency targets which you raise.

If we're talking about overall impact on housing and infrastructure that Greg's coverage of the PLT figures focusses on, then they're fine to use.

If we're talking about immigration - ie non-NZ citizens coming here - then we need to either break down the PLT data or focus on other data, like you suggest. Michael Reddell over at Croaking Cassandra has been writing about this, as have I in previous pieces.

Cheers

Alex

I find the PLT migration figures hard to understand and since I believe they depend on intention not actual action they are fuzzy. It seems strange that we have such a large number of net temporary work-visa holders - I would have expected those leaving to match those arriving eventually.

I remain stunned by the willingness to accept rorts and corruption. No mention by the Herald since mid-December last year. Virtually no mention by Labour or Greens or NZFirst and of course not by National.

Your article is entitled ""Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says 'not fixated on numbers' in immigration debate; More focussed on 'getting our system right'"" but it is mainly about numbers and fails to mention 'Morality'. Reading it Jacinda seems to think 'right' means something like 'efficient for purpose' not the strong condemnation of evil that ought to be in her public pronouncements.

Yes, I agree on the fuzziness. I imagine they're not 'rorted' too much, but my own experience this year shows they do rely somewhat on honesty - and even that doesn't work sometimes.

Returned from 4 years in London in December 2016 - ticked that was looking to live in NZ permanently for more than the next twelve months = a PLT arrival.

Went on holiday to Europe in July - when leaving (and being honest), ticked that we hadn't been in the country for 12 months or more = a short-term visitor departed.

Coming back from holiday, ticked was arriving to live permanently = another PLT arrival.

Cheers

Fascinating example. Do we need a revision of the text in the tick boxes as a means to sort the NZ residents/citizens out from the rest?

The mistake y'all are making is to think that all a these so-called Policies are intended a) to be Implemented as written and b) will help matters.

No, they have one reason only: to get the Party, mouthing those words, Elected, and In Power. Somehow, Supported by Whoever to make up the weight.

Once that happens, all bets are off.....

Gee, let's hope not - we simply can't carry on with the status quo.

I'm starting to think J.A. is a sheep in wolf's clothing.

They thing is that they may have a new leader, but their policies are still largely the same. People seem to vote on personality and the leader, rather than the actual policies.

Yeah, it's them Teef....

What a disgusting , sexist and racist comment on her dress sense.

Xenophobic as well.

So in other words, they don't want to see the books look worse, as the current immigration flows make the books look good. So they don't seem to really want to change the status quo. Shouldn't they just say that National is doing a good job in this respect, and it just needs some tweaking?

True story for you all today.
I'm working from home. Indian guy building house next to us comes over and bangs on our door.
He says that he is going round all the neighbours, including us, to find out which cat is pooing in the bathroom in his still to be completed new house.
He considers this unacceptable.
In his view of the world, it's not his responsibility to secure his house properly so that animals etc can't get in to it.
Welcome to our world of wonderful immigration.

Bring on Gareth - problem solved ( not the one you want solved , but never mind ).

What she said is the right approach. Immigration has to be controlled and if it will be 25000 or 300000 or 35000 has to be seen but yes immigration has to be reduced.
Politics at best with media supporting National.

What a completely different attitude to her predecessor! We need more of this fresh and innovative outlook on the same drab old policies.

Population growth is not sustainable.
390.000 in 4 years if put in one place would be NZ 3rd largest city,
A city with no houses, no roads, no hospitals, no bridges, no electricity, no infrastructure.
Not only is this population growth damaging our lifestyle we have to pay for the infrastructure these people need.
Labour want a blanket capital gains tax on everything accept the family home. National are going to impose road tolls on roads we built and paid for yrs ago eg motorways. Wages are kept low due to competition for work, house prices are pushed beyond reach for most working class families.
The damage done to the NZ lifestyle and family wealth over the last 15 yrs has been devastating. Unfortunately its our younger generation that are doing the bulk of the suffering while the older generation got rich selling NZ.
Fortunately the younger generation don't remember anything different.

And today John Key formally receives his knighthood for all of this. I will never refer to or think of him as Sir anything, other than what will be moderated off these pages

All true.
Hands up who wants to protect habitat?
Hands up who wants economic growth?
Hands up who isn't aware they are delusional...

Intereresting watching the Australian news last night. Local roads clogged in Sydney because few wanted to pay the new toll on the M4. Dick Smith launches a campaign to highlight the average wealth being driven down by excessive immigration. Where is the nirvana Chairman Moa posts about?

As an aside, I checked Sportsbet. Payout for the party to provide the next prime minister: National $1.30 and Labour $3.35. Looks like the punters see this as a done deal.