sign uplog in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

Government says NZ will need to stop relying on cheap low-skilled migrant workers, as it sets its sights on attracting 'high-value' investment

Government says NZ will need to stop relying on cheap low-skilled migrant workers, as it sets its sights on attracting 'high-value' investment

The Government has its sights set on attracting “high-value international investment” into New Zealand, all the while reducing the economy’s reliance on low-skilled migrants.

It’s committing to writing a new “Investment Attraction Strategy” to guide its approach towards attracting this investment.

“We want targeted, high-quality investment that establishes frontier firms [and] brings skills and technology to New Zealand,” Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said in a speech delivered on behalf of Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi (who is sick) on Monday.

“We have also created border exceptions for the Innovative Partnerships Programme and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Investor Programme to enable representatives from global companies to come to New Zealand to conduct on-the-ground negotiations with companies that they wish to invest in,” Nash said.

“These border exceptions will enable over 200 people... to come to New Zealand over the next 12 months to conduct due diligence and transact the sort of deals we know will play an important role in supporting New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19…

“We are also looking at other ways to attract people wanting to make large, long-term investments in business and jobs here... I hope to have more to say on that in due course.”

'Businesses have been able to rely on lower-skilled labour and suppress wages'

As for people who come to New Zealand on temporary work visas, Nash said the Government will strengthen minimum employer requirements, as well as the labour market test that needs to be met before a migrant can be hired.

He also noted temporary work visa changes that were announced in 2019 will take effect in November. These will require employers to be accredited to recruit migrant labour.

He said these changes would also ensure temporary workers are only recruited for genuine job shortages, make the immigration system easier to navigate, and improve the way immigration, education, skills, and welfare systems work together.

“Temporary work visa holders make up almost 5% of New Zealand’s labour force. That is the highest share - by a significant margin – compared to other OECD countries," Nash said.

“Increasingly, these temporary workers are at lower skill levels - nearly half of all Essential Skills visa approvals in 2019 were at the two lowest skill levels.

“This means businesses have been able to rely on lower-skilled labour and suppress wages rather than investing capital in productivity-enhancing plant and machinery, or employing and upskilling New Zealanders into work.

“In the decade prior to COVID-19, we saw the number of people on temporary work visas in New Zealand double - from fewer than 100,000 to more than 200,000.”

Tourism and primary industries will look different

Furthermore, Nash said the Government will review the Skilled Migrant Category, and look at resetting partner work rights.

However, he said: “There are no plans, at this stage, to change specific purpose, short-term business or visitor visas, the Working Holiday Schemes, nor non-partnership family and humanitarian categories.”

The Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme, which is designed for workers from the Pacific, is also staying.

The Government isn’t putting numbers on its immigration reset.

“When our borders fully open again, we can’t afford to simply turn on the tap to the previous immigration settings. That path is a continuation of pressures on our infrastructure, like transport, accommodation, and downward pressure on wages," Nash said.

“Sectors which rely on migrant labour, like tourism and the primary industries, will look different in future.”

Net long term migration

Select chart tabs »

The ' Net long term migration - annual 12-16' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
The 'Net long term migration monthly gain or loss 12-16' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

117 Comments

47
up

“Increasingly, these temporary workers are at lower skill levels – nearly half of all Essential Skills visa approvals in 2019 were at the two lowest skill levels.

“This means businesses have been able to rely on lower-skilled labour and suppress wages rather than investing capital in productivity-enhancing plant and machinery, or employing and upskilling New Zealanders into work.

About time someone admitted what our immigration policies have delivered.

32
up

Funny that isn’t it. Twofold. We import low skill to drive Ubers and/or work in bottle stores or similar and essentials such as airport terminal cleaning. Why? Because us the locals says it don’t pay enough. Thus the second situation. In terms of remuneration those in the penthouse are running hot while those in the basement are barely on subsistence. So let’s make it simple. Without cheap imported labour the those relative vocations will then need to pay more to attract workers otherwise they won’t function. If those workers are paid more then the fat cats at the top might then need to be paid less. Double movement.

If they pull this off great for helping take the pedal of housing and infrastructure problems but I believe they will fail just like the kiwibuild disaster.
Would be great if you could place a bet at the TAB.

You can short the NZD.

"The Government isn’t putting numbers on its immigration reset."

Doesn't fill one with confidence...

There needs to be the same standard of skills before being elected to be an MP or a member of a political party. Yet another new policy like other they have introduced without knowing what impact it will have. I wonder what advise they got from immigration and MBIE. I bet they were told what they were doing is dangerous and ignored it.

It is not all about money. If you hire minimum waged locals for cleaning airport terminal, they arrive half an hour late, take 30 mins toilet breaks, work slow. They are also very difficult to train.
If you hire immigrants, they are on time, work hard, follow directions, as their visa is dependent on the employer.

About time someone admitted what our immigration policies have delivered.

Spot on, Miguel and yeeeeeha to the Government for not only saying it, but doing something new and innovative about it.

Kris Faafoi and Stuart Nash - congratulations!

Sarc?
They haven't DONE anything yet

Sarc? No, not at all.

- The overhaul of skill settings (i.e., the points system) for Work Visas is long overdue.
- The new border exceptions are properly targeted toward FDI.
- The employer accreditation requirement and the introduction of a labour market test for the granting of Temporary Work Visas is perfect - indicating a real shift in intent.

You wouldn't believe how BIG the immigration/visa rorts have been in the past. Labour in its first term stepped up monitoring action and found many mid-sized privately-owned firms hiring many, many multiples of unskilled labourers on work visas endorsed/applied for by employer sponsors. This employer accreditation requirement will put a stop to the unskilled labour pouring into our shores. Prior repeat rorters, won't be accredited.

They know who they are and nothing could be better than telling them the games up!

I agree. A Westpac economist on the radio voiced his displeasure on the government reducing migration numbers shortly after the announcement, asserting this move will impair economic growth, mainly on the consumption side of the equation.

I don't expect any better feedback from these consumer finance companies/building societies that insist on calling themselves 'commercial banks'!

I'm skeptical. This government said they'd reduce immigration 4 years ago and what did they do? Let it run away massively.

They are good at announcing things, hopeless at delivering on them.

Radio chat is tourist town is going to have to employ and train the locals. Interesting to see how that works out as those who want to work are. But let's flow NZ with a few billionare investor types. Will they be restricted from just buying...land.

13
up

Tourism. If we're serious about lowering total emissions we should ban it.
Haven't seen any electric motorhomes and with no lpg to cook or heat with plus with Nashs anti freedom camping initiatives that part is going to get killed off.

Lets see what borders look like in 2023 and every year after.
When Wuhan virus first hit they started with we hope to have borders open for skiers again by June/July 2020 fail.
Then sometime this year which they kind of have but could be closed at any moment.
Look to UK this summer and see how new Indian strain plays out I am picking rolling lockdowns then another full lockdown late summer.
If this happens and the speed at which new variants keep appearing you are never going to see tourism return to what it was as people will accept to stay closer to home and then add higher airfares/taxes etc then you will only see the very wealthy flying like it used to be.
We are being slowly worn down to accept this outcome.

Hope not but this move alone pretty much confirms to me inflation is going to be baked in now.

14
up

There is a bright-side. The cost of skiing will have to come down to meet the price a NZer on the median wage ($55,120 pa) earns. Ditto the cost of a bungie jump; a jet boat ride; a visit to the glow-worm caves; a nights accommodation; etc. etc.

When our kids were growing up - we could afford all these things and we were a single-income family! And we took them to Fiji, Aus, the US and Canada - because (wait for it!!!!!). we could even SAVE money on that single income AS WELL AS afford our own home!

Don't think of it as "We are being slowly worn down to accept the [only-the-rich-can-afford-this] outcome". Instead think how this government is fighting back for that middle-income Kiwi lifestyle we all used to be able to enjoy and afford.

Good, good on them.

Is $55 really the median? That seems very high?

Yes that's the median for earnings from wages and salaries.

"Median weekly earnings from wages and salaries increased $44 (4.3 percent) to $1,060 in the June 2020 quarter."
https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/labour-market-statistics-...

Will the cost of housing also have to come down to meet the median wage?

Let's start with rent costs getting there and house prices will follow.

Levying rates against land values only and increasing them significantly to actually fund the running of the city, or bringing back land value tax would sort it out in short order.

Plenty of kiwis were skiing at Sth Island skifields last season Kate. :-) Many attractions here lowered their rates last year. Low cost usually = low wage, be careful what you wish for.

Yes, I know that many attractions have lowered their rates in the last year. And great that Kiwis are filling the chair lifts. More of the same needed in other sectors! Next: private rental housing!

In tourism, I suspect what we'll get is: affordable cost = modestly higher wages.

27
up

"The Government has its sights set on attracting “high-value international investment” into New Zealand, all the while reducing the economy’s reliance on low-skilled migrants"

Sounds great! Also sounds like we've heard it before

17
up

So who picks fruit? The large pool of unemployed won't.

14
up

Every year in Central I meet folk looking for horticultural work. Not simple or easy to get.
I also have seen folk come from the North Island. One weeks work then told 'crop not good, bugger off'

28
up

I would treat the claims that orchards could not get sufficient NZ Labour with a very large grain of salt. They were also claiming this prior to the cherry harvest. It turned out that hundreds if not thousands of Kiwis were applying for work and being ignored.

https://www.odt.co.nz/rural-life/horticulture/they%E2%80%99re-not-hiring...

This has a lot more to do with ensuring orchards have labour that is low priced and compliant.

A lot applied for the jobs but would never get back to you. I ran a recruitment campaign for seasonal workers with close to 800 applicants over 3-4 months of which I attempted to contact every single person on that list. The final number that was shortlisted was closer to 70ish of which about 50 turned up/started work. People are fickle and once you talk them through the jobs they would be doing a lot were not interested or weren't happy with $22/23/hr. We provided free accommodation and food as well and close to 60 hours a week. Better then sitting on the couch?

Thought of offering $30 per hour ?

Still have to make money somehow and free accommodation and food is a big plus. I don't know that many people in their 20s on $30+/hr

When the average house price in NZ is $800K and rents exploding, $30 an hr probably needs to be topped up by the government these days to allow somebody to survive.

Perhaps employers should complain to government that the cost of living in NZ is too expensive meaning workers need higher and higher hourly wages to just get by.

Do I believe you?
Read that and related ODT articles. The growers never responded to 100's and up to 1000 of job requests from Kiwis and carried on winging. In later articles they acknowledged what they had done and apologized. === absolutely no credibility!!!!
The kiwi fruit industry was able to make an effort and got the crop in and processed without the extra RSE workers.
If they can why can't you.

We managed to source the staff required in the end without overseas workers for our campaign.
Just thought it was worth mentioning that, Yes a lot of kiwis do apply for these jobs, but a lot think it's beneath them or don't want to work weekends or don't want to do certain aspects of the job.

There you are. Well done and I wish you all the success that I am sure you work hard for. Having done it once, then next season I am sure you will be able do do even better with Kiwi workers. With the experience that they gained last season, then I am sure that they will do better too. If we continue this trend then I am sure that the good growers will find ways to keep building on this positive trend and the whole country will be better off. However if we go back to lowest cost imported labour again, then we shall simply wallow along as a low wage low productivity economy. A race to the bottom.

A machine.

Robots

We are talking skilled migrant here. Getting people who are seasonal workers on temporary work visa is a different case.

Oops, I posted too soon "The Strategy hasn’t been written yet."

And also: “There are no plans, at this stage, to change specific purpose, short-term business or visitor visas, the Working Holiday Schemes, nor non-partnership family and humanitarian categories.”

Key visa for seasonal work is 'Working Holiday Visa' - and that has no plans to be changed - yet.

29
up

Cheap labor is only one part of the story. Immigration does wonders for headline GDP and any ruling elite can hold up the periodic report and show the hoi polloi how well they're doing. Of course, they never discuss why GDP per capita isn't growing or why the quality of life deteriorates because the infrastructure isn't adequate to support the increase in population.

What about the difference between GDP derived from the government vs the private sector? If the government employs someone to do nothing then GDP increases. But not so for private sector apparently, where something actually has to be produced for GDP to increase (see here) I wonder how much of New Zealand's GDP is now derived either directly or indirectly from government spending - you know in light of the fact that 25% of our exports are gone?

Huh. I was picking the 6pm announcement by a surrogate to be a whole pile of nothing. Very happy to be wrong about that.

33
up

We are short of at least 10's of thousands of houses and many people are not housed. That means that if an immigrant is to be housed then one of our existing residents must be kicked out of their accommodation. Simple arithmetic, much as the government try to pretend otherwise the logic is iron clad and we all witness the results daily.
Therefore if any immigrant is so desperately needed here then the desperate employer should be required to build a new house for them. If we ran a fair user pay system then they should also be required to make a substantial contribution for all the services and infrastructure required to service the new person. In Auckland, new houses for such an elevated individual would cost north of a million dollars. Any guess on how much the cost of all the extra infrastructure and services will cost? - Another million say, probably more, but certainly of that order. So probably well north of $2 or 3 million for each special worker and their family. If the people wanting to employ these immigrants had to face these consequences of their demands, would they be so keen to want immigrants - I doubt it. So in other words, the government and industry wants these people for commercial reasons, so it is totally appropriate that the costs should lie with the businesses and the business case must stack up. Why should we, the mug citizens pick up the tab. When faced with these choices you would think that it would be a far better proposition to hang on to, train, and make the best of the people who already live here. All that I can see this government doing is chasing them away with impossibly high house prices (in perpetuity according to Jacinda) and no wage rises. Real geniuses aren't they.

If you think that all the above is unreasonable and a bit far fetched; just consider the Turner brothers and Sleepyhead.
They want to close their Auckland operation because it is not sensible to remain there for the factory and their staff. They want to shift everything down country to Ohiniwai and build a whole town for their staff.

22
up

It's sounds like step in the right direction but, without specifics, we'll have to reserve judgement. If this policy is implemented it'll be interesting to see how very marginal businesses that where reliant on cheap labour respond in practice.

I would highlight some other systematic failings as well in that we don't train nearly enough healthcare workers. We rely on pillaging talent from many developing countries where those skills are needed badly. It's an approach that really isn't sustainable.

14
up

Yeah, talk is cheap for this government. Right talk, but I won't be celebrating until I see this government actioning it.

This is a government that has a history of failure to execute. Making an announcement changes nothing. Implementing policy is the only reliable measure the public can judge.

Open up betting at TAB would love to see the odds.

$7 they will deliver on the talk

The affected businesses will either adapt or fail, and their resources will be distributed among other sectors and/or better competitors. That's how capitalism is supposed to work.

The new strategy certainly sounds like a step or two in the right direction. Will come down to execution, and handling bleating employers.

The big picture is automation - if we don't keep up we won't be competitive, so it's good to see some talk at least of "frontier firms [and] brings skills and technology to New Zealand".

12
up

Here's an idea: pay the white collar workers and innovators we have here enough so that they want to stay, and stop robbing our citizens for housing so they can make ends meet.

Then you might be able to take jobs like 'accountant' or 'financial manager' off the regional skilled shortage list and stop importing downwards wage pressure on the (formerly) middle class.

19
up

The first cry you hear will be from the hospitality industry. I remember them throwing a fit when the salary criteria for skilled migrant category was lifted.

Ethnic restaurants always default to, I need chefs from this country due to the nature of the cuisine. These chefs (who have known to be exploited and passport seized by the restaurant owner) cannot speak English so they need to hire specific language speaking waiters and waitresses from the home country of the cuisine. These restaurants churn through residency applications for “restaurant managers” and “service personnel”. I have heard stories from years gone by where students paid for a 1 year hospitality course, paid the restaurant owner to hire them for work permit and a path to residency.

Why cannot these restaurants train hospitality grads from NZ or hire NZ residents with hospitality qualifications? Guess they know the laws of this country and cannot be so easily exploited.

Restaurants should prove why they cannot train a NZ chef for ethnic cuisine and show proof that they have tried. How hard can it be? If we can all cook a variety of recipes from My Food Bag, a fully qualified and trained chef can quickly learn a handful of recipes.

15
up

If they can't hire local then it should be tough bickies. Also, if they can't hire local it might be more to do with the business and how they operate and remunerate, rather than the local populace...
Mind you, we can't have our cake and eat it. Prices on many things have been kept artificially low by mass immigration. Prepare for more inflation...

If the wages goes up as a result, surely we will all pay more for things. Artificially keeping the wages down results in cheaper prices. Artificially keeping the wages down is a direct result of mass cheap labour.

Yes that's my point.
I like Indian food - as one example. If the restaurants have to use more local labour, pay better and provide better conditions, then the price I pay will go up. I am happy to do so, if it's a level playing field.
I mean I go to an Indian restaurant once a month. It means jack if I have to pay $5 more for a meal once a month.

It would cost an extra 1c per apple to pay pickers handsomely, or it may come out of landholders profits. Its all about which group can leverage more pressure. Can the consumer keep prices down by reducing demand, can workers increase pay by withholding their labour, can business owners increase profits by squeezing workers or consumers more, or can landlords squeeze the businesses or home renters more. It's all about economic pressure.

If you go to Cassia in Auckland City you will see they have a number of different ethnicities preparing and serving awesome Indian food. It’s possible. But doing it in all areas, at different price levels, may not be economic. The answer to date has been imported labour. But how many ethnic restaurants do we need? And do the proprietors of such businesses have a right to run these businesses? Or if they can’t make it work should they close and try have a go at something else? It seems to me that we seem to avoid real capitalism at all costs and then are surprised to see externalities.

Imagine if a French restaurant said it was only going to hire white staff...

12
up

Well put. If they can't run a profitable business without slave labour, then they shouldn't be operating. Plain and simple.

I have heard stories from years gone by where students paid for a 1 year hospitality course, paid the restaurant owner to hire them for work permit and a path to residency

Once these exploited workers becomes permanent residents of NZ, many start their own restaurants and hire migrant chefs under the same shoddy yet profitable arrangements, while their ex-employers also look for their next victims.

That explains why despite bringing in tens of thousands of chefs each year, the sectors cries for 'skill shortages' seem to be getting louder!

Sounds like Labour wants to turn New Zealand into Cyprus with its aim to attract “high-value” investment. It’s done wonders for Cyprus :)

And we were just discussing Peter Thiel the other day...

Yes NZ immensely benefited from his becoming a Kiwi hah! I wonder if these schemes will be similar to the one Peter Thiel ‘invested’, i.e., Kiwi taxpayers are liable for all the risks but get none of the profits. Sounds awesome.

Im pretty sure whoever built his underground concrete "I wanna live forever" bunker benefited. And the person he bought the bolt hole from.

We are excessively crap at picking winners when it comes to this. I also think real intentions of the extremely wealthy are foggy at best. And once they are in, they have the means to make it very hard to get rid of them.

I'm not familiar with the situation in Cyprus so can't tell if you're being facetious or not.

"....to enable representatives from global companies to come to New Zealand to conduct on-the-ground negotiations with companies that they wish to invest in,”
Invest in?
Whaaaat? To sell off more core business?

The problem isn't getting skilled labour in the country, it's the fact that no "NZ worker" wants to do those jobs, which is why NZ had to bring those people in. People in NZ have a first-world problem, they like to "choose" what they are passionate in doing, and not do something because they need to put food on the table like the imported skilled labour.

Good luck filling those job vacancies which no "NZ workers" person wants to do.

14
up

Which is why post WW2 the UK opened its borders to Asian, African & West Indies population. But the UK population, three generations of youth, had been decimated by two world wars. Enoch Powell stridently warned of unhappy racial consequences to be expected. Sadly he was not wrong.

People can become quite passionate about almost any job when the price is right. And for those jobs that nobody still wants to do, get a machine.

I'm also sure customers will be very 'passionate' to pay a much higher bill for the services which used to cost only a fraction of the costs.

If only machines did everything, then we wouldn't need humans to debate anything ;)

Exactly. In many cases businesses won't be able charge customers more so they will need to become more efficient and more productive - which is what we want.

10
up

I think you'll find that, at the right price, people are surprisingly willing to forego their dream job. ;-)

I'm sure many would become janitors and cleaners on a $100K a year salary and forego their dream job, no doubt. But the bigger question is, will the buying customer be willing to pay a $1,000 cleaning bill when the original price was $99 via a Groupon deal? Otherwise the cleaning business won't have any customers with such high expenses to pay their employees salaries ;)

We will soon find out what the rapid increase in the minimum wage under Labour does to employment prospects and the profitability of businesses when Orr's money printing press is forced to stop because of rising inflation.

20
up

The age old problem - NZ's ambitious talent leaves for Australia or further afield, the dregs and unemployable stay here, lowering our productivity and necessitating the government to import willing & able working bodies to keep things ticking over. Meanwhile the education system continues to promote mediocrity, keeping a permanent underclass mainly trained in useless"subjects" that are just there to make up the credits numbers.

I'm damned if I know what will finally break the cycle.

What won't break the cycle is keeping on increasing benefits. Child Poverty Action group types want to increase benefits to equal the living wage, without a thought to what that will do to employers already having difficulty recruiting workers.

Its precursor toward the UBI.

Don't forget the COVID benefit - $400/week if you lost your job due to COVID downsizing/redundancy; against the $255/week standard JobSeeker benefit. Why did those that lost their jobs due to COVID need an exception? Because they otherwise would have been unable to afford food on the standard JobSeeker benefit - and the Foodbanks were already failing under the weight of new demand.

Core benefits have needed to be at a minimum of $400/week for years and years. Many say higher, but my thought is if we just raise them to at least the COVID benefit level we restore fairness and dignity to all who lose their employment. COVID happily exposed how an individual cannot afford to live on the standard benefit amount.

20
up

I don't believe anything this govt says anymore. These statements are the same old - PR sound bites to hit the new headlines with no substance behind it, or firm plans to implement it.

What will problem happen is they let in 200 000 and pat themselves on the back and smile and the general public will not even blink.

Australia is about to boom.

Their infrastructure is more up to date, so they can take more people. Once we are ready, we can take more too.

Skilled workers looking for good pay and career prospects have decent options to choose from in Australia unlike in NZ where the only choices are a network of sprawled neighbourhoods masked as a 'super-city' and the capital with no accommodation and bursting pipes.

Looks like people are projecting.

The speech had no substance. It was barely a list.

"That path is a continuation of pressures on our infrastructure, like transport, accommodation, and downward pressure on wages" how convenient to blame their (govt) failures on migrants, and another trick to win votes for next elections. Don't understand how migrants stopped infrastructure developments in other regions ? Govt was always focused on Auckland. Govt never thought of developing other regions as they were busy artificially inflating house prices.

Only if it is possible (as real data is always suppressed) would be good to see how migrants have contributed to NZ economy in terms of dollars, labour etc in last 30 years and in which sectors those monies has been used and invested. Since last year net migration dropped from 91900 to 6600 yet the house prices went to the moon. How can govt justify this by putting blame on migrants.

By "Rich Investors" Jacinda means lets invite more wealthy Chinese investors so they can buy more NZ assets, land, and ports same as what John Key did. Govt is like a begger who always ask wealthy individuals for their money and mercy instead for creating and supporting more business, and work on creating real GDP. NZ is going on path of Sri Lanka. They opened doors to China, China built the infrastructures, skyscrapers and provided loan to Sri Lankan govt. Now China owns the country. If Labour come to power again, NZ is doomed. We need new generation leaders with new vision to run the country and retire all corrupt people from govt sectors.

As Milton Friedman said "Their is no such thing as free lunch" these rich investors will be not coming to view NZ sceneries and landscapes. They will be here for hefty returns on their investments and guess what happens to small businesses when big players come to market?

Didn't mean to offend anyone or hurt anyones sentiments with me views.

P0s31don

If you don't own a house, or 20, you would have to be insane to try and attain a decent life in NZ, it aint going to happen. The rulers have sold you down the river. Go to a country that respects you and your hard work. Anywhere but NZ. Anywhere without an Orr or Jacinda.

"" the labour market test that needs to be met before a migrant can be hired "" - it is a joke. It was a joke 20 years ago when they let me in and it is a joke today. Just set wages low and working conditions to bad and add a weak technicality (eg experience with a foreign cuisine) and sensible Kiwis will not apply. Result is an approval for another immigrant.
The alternative being increase wages and improve conditions until Kiwis will apply and add internal training.

14
up

How can the govt announce anything about immigration policies without even a whiff of a population plan?

They are simply covering their mess which they have made in housing and other sectors.

I guess the government won't say this out loud but it's rather unanimously agreed that we cannot even afford to house our current population within our borders and look after their needs.

We're in a state of emergency with worsening child poverty, border closures destroying the low-value industries we relied heavily on and low-income families falling further behind, all this despite more money splashed on welfare than ever before.

I think I see the glimmers of what might almost be called a strategy — put deliberate upward pressure on wages through immigration and industrial policy, and hope that in the longer run it will reduce the effective debt burden from our ridiculous housing situation. Maybe high inflation will be viewed as a *good* thing for longer than most of us expect..?

Low immigration, no foreign buyers, no income tax debt offset, record house and appartment construction, covid mutation killing tourism, inflation rising fast, and banks calling interest rate rises in the future. This can only end one way but hay...borrow to the moon the bank will look after your speculative interests on the way down.

Popcorn.

Regarding ASB's latest offer. They must have skin in the game regarding new apartments coming online. I would say mostly applies to Auckland.

Tap? The tap is clearly broken because they had 2 years with a somewhat-conservative coalition partner to turn it. Nothing happened.

The upstream flow stopped 12 months ago.. drip drip drip. The tap and the system is still broken and ready and awaiting to approve 90,000 net arrivals as soon as the upstream flow is released.
If this was my plumbing we were talking about I would install a brand new one and test it at ultra low levels until I figured out what flow was actually the right amount.

About time. You could look at this policy announcement and a few others as a major Structural Change for NZ. It's been a long time coming and needed.
The ramifications are huge and badly needed.

We are all happy about the announcement, but very doubtful about them actually doing what they say. Why?

Every election (except the last) for the past 15 or so years, a reset on immigration has been promised and entire parties have been voted in because of it. No party has ever done it, they have all fallen into the trap of listening to the people who pay minimum (or less) wages and caved.

So we will believe it when we see it.

Pretty sure if you read the treasury reports you see that reducing immigration isn't on the list of things to do as they need to continue to increase the tax take so that paying boomer superannuation doesn't cripple the country's finances. Hence new government gets into office and gets the briefing and quickly falls into line and opens the flood gates to whoever wants to live here. NZ is all about the boomer and protecting their way of life! The only image that comes to mind is a bird shitting in its own nest, including its own offspring.

My partner employs overseas labour because New Zealanders will not do the the work, as for cheap, that is not the case, as this business unfriendly government forces her to pay well above minimum wage.
We have over 300,000 people who could work, but choose other options. No Work no benefit, good for the soul.

Not all of these people are able to work. 100% employment is impossible, as there are some who have limitations that will stop them from ever being a productive member of a work force, no matter how much liberals will argue the opposite.

Yep we have hundreds of thousands who are unemployed, but mostly not counted as being so.

This is the best announcement Labour have made since they got in. It finally feels like they are actually listening to the people. If, and this is a very strong if as they have such a track record for failed promises, if they can actually pull this off, then i will definitely be voting for them at the next election. If they fail i wont be.

Was thinking the same thing. If they halt jamming ever more people into the country, and are successful in killing off house price increases, they will get my vote.

If they fail and National can come up with a credible leader, then Labour will be in trouble.

I'm curious, if the consensus is that people have had enough of the mass low-skilled immigration rort and/or housing bubble, why on earth would they vote for National (who will double-down and likely promote both of these things)?

Yes that's a valid point. I guess you could call it punishment for lying. I believe the hike in immigration is what finally sunk NZ First. It was probably the most important thing for their voter base.

If they fail i have no idea who to vote for, as i don't trust National to fix this... Labour cannot be allowed to fail.

Me too - alot riding on immigration and this looks good.

Now, I'm hanging out for what Budget actions will be taken to alleviate poverty for our lowest income earners. They have the WEAG report - time they implemented the recommendations.

I have been trying to see a doctor for the last two days, everything booked out. Finally got in this morning.
Overloaded system, short on staff, unsustainable...
Sky high immigration is part of the reason.

THE SOLUTION - lets bring in another doctor. Couldn't possibly train more doctors and give them a decent salary and lifestyle (cheaper housing).

Let's freeze their pay. That'll definitely work.

we train plenty of doctors but many can not get placements here when they finished so head offshore, UK medical are preferred over home trained

We were told that the skilled migration programme is meant to bring in more well-trained medical professionals.

What we got is our doors have been left wide open for businesses and institutions to bring whoever they want and those in-charge hoping and praying at least some of them are trained doctors.

I believe that the Govt. be investing/relocating in rural towns more businesses. also at the same time empowering the rural employment and addressing the skills required to fulfill such jobs. NZ is in unique situation as we are largely protected from Covid19 and give us an opportunity to invest in businesses and in our laborers skills. It will stop people migrating to big towns and it will solve the housing issue to some extent. Govt can provide subsidies at the start rather than baling out later. makes more sense.

Labour's immigration plan to destroy smaller businesses by favouring larger employers

According to statistics published on Immigration’s website, by the end of this year, as many as 126,405 people who had Work Visas approved in just the 2020/2021 year, along with any others still on Work Visas issued in previous years, will suddenly become ineligible to work in New Zealand unless their employers become ‘Accredited Employers’.

Competition for skilled employees is high, and smaller businesses rely on skilled, qualified, certified, and professionally registered staff. Most do not have the resources to become ‘Accredited Employers’ in the way the government envisages. Accreditation will be an extremely time consuming and expensive process out of the reach of the majority of employers, since small businesses do make up the majority of employers in New Zealand. The move will drive employees from the small businesses that need these staff towards larger employers, providing those larger employers with an unfair advantage in recruitment.

In our own case, we have brought already experienced, skilled and qualified staff members into the country and spent many years investing in their training and certification to meet New Zealand certification and accreditation standards. Now our larger competitors could poach staff. This drama must be unfolding all over New Zealand, and the government would be foolish to think that the majority of employees on Work Visas can be replaced by New Zealand citizens in a practical or affordable timeframe. Recruiting an appropriate staff member in our industry in Auckland can take up to 6 months, and whilst we have never favoured either citizens or non-residents, the majority of applications has always been from non-residents. Nearly everyone living in Auckland was born elsewhere.

The government’s plan also affects our ability to treat our Employees correctly and fairly within New Zealand employment law, and may make us liable to legal action by Employees who may have grievances with regard to our termination of their employment at the governments direction.

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/documents/statistics/statistics-work-app...

In regard to small business, I expect the new policies are targeting (in part) businesses run by recent immigrants who run small businesses where their employees are all or predominantly foreigners on work visas (in many cases sponsored by the employer) and where the employer pays lip service to (or more to the point, ignores) NZ tax and employment law by underpaying, mistreating and/or ripping of its workers. These types of business are often of zero value to NZ, and cause a significant waste of taxpayer resources and time when the Labour Department steps in to investigate. Examples: ethnic restaurants, nail/beauty salons, independent liqour stores (see stories of rogue Indian operators in the news), and labour contract suppliers (usually Indian in my experience) in the horticulture sector.