Gareth Morgan's Opportunities Party sees 'a big downside' from too many migrants; the current regime is 'rotten'; focus needs to be on skilled people seeking a more liberal and tolerant society

Gareth Morgan's Opportunities Party sees 'a big downside' from too many migrants; the current regime is 'rotten'; focus needs to be on skilled people seeking a more liberal and tolerant society

Gareth Morgan has released his second policy, for his Opportunities Party, this one on immigration, with the declaration that this country needs to focus on skilled people looking for a more liberal and tolerant society in the wake of Brexit, Trump and "the march of ugly nationalism engulfing Europe".

"...We’ve ended up selling low quality education packages to desperate economic refugees from India and China," Morgan says. 

"Foreign students have been granted the right to work here while studying and they then stay on in jobs (any jobs that is – glorified dishwashers is a favourite) to get more points to qualify for residency.

"Government has lifted points for work experience to 60 of the 160 required! It’s a policy rife with rorts, there’s a steady stream of them being reported or investigated. This is not trivial as Ministers are claiming, the regime is rotten."

Morgan's plan, (with the full policy included here) includes detailed proposals on bringing in more skilled migrants. It also proposes reform of the current 'points' system, a longer qualification period for super, a longer path to permanent residency, restrictions on working holiday visas and a policy of giving jobs to Kiwis first.

The Opportunities Party released its first policy last week.

This is official release on the new policy:

Aotearoa New Zealand is a special place. Part of that charm is our remoteness, the beauty of our natural environment, and perhaps most important of all, our low population.

Immigration is important to New Zealand’s development – the fact that around 25% of our workforce wasn’t born here is testimony to that. Migrants can be beneficial to an economy, particularly if they are highly skilled. Used properly, immigration will help underwrite economic growth and prosperity, and help us manage the pressures of an ageing population. 

The TOP test for immigrants is: if you can improve our standard of living we welcome you. If not, thanks but no thanks.

Immigration should not be driven by student visas, nor reciprocal visitor working visas it should only be about whether the immigrant benefits us. Of course migrants accepted for humanitarian reasons are a separate issue.

We need to focus on skilled people that are looking for a more liberal and tolerant society in the wake of Brexit, Trump and the march of ugly nationalism engulfing Europe. We must seize this opportunity to make New Zealand the place where ‘talent wants to live’. Why “talent”? Because it creates jobs and incomes for New Zealanders.

TOP will make it quicker and simpler for truly skilled people to live and work here. This will require changes to our visa regime, and international brand. The latter needs to present us as a tech-savvy nation with great lifestyles, to markets such as Europe, the UK, Asia and the US.

There’s a big downside from too many migrants, particularly if they are working in low-skilled jobs. Establishment parties have wrecked New Zealand’s immigration policy by making it a tool of  what they believed was a lucrative foreign education industry. But we’ve ended up selling low quality education packages to desperate economic refugees from India and China. Foreign students have been granted the right to work here while studying and they then stay on in jobs (any jobs that is – glorified dishwashers is a favourite) to get more points to qualify for residency. Government has lifted points for work experience to 60 of the 160 required! It’s a policy rife with rorts, there’s a steady stream of them being reported or investigated. This is not trivial as Ministers are claiming, the regime is rotten.

Details of the failure of immigration policy are in our Immigration Description paper. 

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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the march of ugly nationalism engulfing Europe

Today, if someone raises their voice to express concerns over integration, they’re often labelled a racist. If they show distaste towards cultural practices they deem to be unacceptable, such as the wearing of the burqa, they’re branded intolerant. If they express a desire to preserve the cultural institutions of their nation’s mainstream culture, they’re branded xenophobic. And often it’s the Left that does the branding.

However, this leap to write off someone expressing reservations about multiculturalism represents a fundamental failure to understand the psychology that motivates such expressions. The fact is, humans were not designed to slip effortlessly in to a multicultural world. Our psychology has been shaped by millions of years of monocultural living in small relatively homogenous groups.

We’re built to absorb our proximate culture at a young age and, in doing so, our identity and values galvanise. We then become less malleable, and we seek out others who share our values and cultural identity. This doesn’t mean we’re closed to new ideas, but there’s a tremendous inertia in shifting our more fundamental values once they’re established.

The liberals are usually well off people who can move around and enjoy the best of what life has to offer whereas the deplorables hanker for life in a Hobitton. Or in other words the liberal view stems from the notion of identity being culturally embedded (there is no human nature other than what is learned and basic animal instincts).


Another rational policy, squarely based on research, facts and logic chains!

Thinking squarely about the long-term benefits for a better NZ, rather than narrow short-term jolts!

Not pandering to special interests, the benefits to the political party, or ingrained belief systems!

How does this fool think he's going to get any votes??!!


For me, this is two from two - I think my vote is heading their way.

me too...his tax policy is excellent, now this....finally some truth, rational logic, and long term thinking to benefit NZ on immigration...go Gareth, go hard

Agreed. "Some ask why does fairness matter so much? To them I just need to point to Trump, Brexit and the tide of Nationalism sweeping Europe to illustrate the political instability that unfairness leads to. "

I hope he gets some wheels...


The tax policy seems unique to TOP at this stage but the immigration policy is what NZ First has been saying for years and years - that being we are importing low-end skill sets, the level of English language skill is being gamed, the overall numbers are too high, the family centre-of-gravity/reunification policy is a disaster and the changes to student visas (to allow o/s students to work) by the Nats were just plain stupid. So really, all credit goes to NZ First to my mind as they've been banging on about this for years.

I think every party should have to present policy this way. The problem, however is that our representative democracy does not capture the divisions in society: who will pay for expert help for a party of deplorables? Plenty of money for National Realestate.

Immigration is important to New Zealand’s development – the fact that around 25% of our workforce wasn’t born here is testimony to that. Migrants can be beneficial to an economy, particularly if they are highly skilled. Used properly, immigration will help underwrite economic growth and prosperity, and help us manage the pressures of an ageing population.
He is being generous there. We have seen a massive increase in people employed in construction, tourism and hospitality?
In 2004 the Boston Globe travel writer wrote of "New Zealand at a Crossroad"
Kerry McDonald calls migration "a national disaster"

Close the immigration door completely... I object to people from all those countries coming here... If that trend continues, we will ruin New Zealand. We will make it just like any other part of the world

- see: Ranginui Walker hits out at the volume of immigrants coming into NZ.

Good on him for wanting to get rid of the education scams. But he has missed another opportunity on this one.

As long as we bring in foreign workers to do jobs, the wages stay low and the populace stay unskilled.

He could have released a policy that takes the opportunity to train and up-skill Kiwis to do the job, and the opportunity to allow wages to increase to make this world.

Nothing wrong with migration AS LONG AS we bring in the right people. Too many loopholes which in turn affect housing, rentals (10 people in 1 room scenario), people being paid under the table, tax shortages, strain on our medical system, infrastructure, cheap education, cheap labour etc. We need to be firm and sure on who we allow into NZ! Every decision we make today affects our kids/future generation in 20 years time.

Respect the fact he's giving it a go, but unfortunately he’s got no chance whatsoever of getting to the 5% threshold.

They said that about Trump as well:)

Trump wasn't trying to tax peoples houses.

..plenty of renters out there to get a vote off, so can't see that tax being a problem.

He will be joining the 1% club


Sounds good to me. Time to rid NZ of dilutive immigration settings.

Wow that's strong Nationalistic talk , I still think we need to be multicultural , but certainly not where one group dominates


I'm an immigrant and I fully agree with TOP's immigration policies. Shut the immigration's backdoor (the "education system", that profitable export business that pockets benefits at the expense of the whole society but then overcharges NZers). If only NZers had access to free tertiary education subsidized not only by government but also by those profitable companies that use the immigration's bait as a powerful marketing tool..

Love his immigration policies, hate his tax policies.


I also dont like the proposed tax regime , he needs to show us why its better , especially for us Boomers

I don't like the idea that a price is put on someone for not turning their land into something that produces money. Think of someone that owns a lifestyle block mostly covered in native forest. Suddenly they have to pay a tax for not turning that land into dairy farming.

If you like his immigration policy but not his tax policy then vote NZ First. His immigration policy is basically Winstons accept I don't think GM said how many immigrants, just better quality.

There is already a price/cost on land that is not used to the same degree as neighbouring land. That is a choice the landowner makes. They have an opportunity to make money off it or not. Only the top 20% will pay more tax than they are now.


Morgan's immigration policy is soundly based. There is a growing groundswell of anger about incumbent politicians indifference to the the stress being placed on our lives by current policies. Anyone with kids or grandkids looking for work in semi skilled occupations or desperately trying to buy a house will have experienced their resentment at having to compete with hordes of recent arrivals.

I should add that I have no personal financial axe to grind with current settings as my business interests have prospered through the booming immigration driven consumer economy.
My personal beef is with the high handed way we long term Kiwis are compelled to accept sweeping changes to the racial and cultural mix of NZ society, that is being driven by unelected policy boffins in Wellington who are on a crusade to reshape NZ in the way they want it.
Morgan shows the intention of their policies ( or at least publicly stated one) is not being achieved, with the downsides significant. At last we have a pollie with credibility willing to ask the hard questions.

The attitudes of New Zealanders in the mid-1990s
towards immigration may not have reflected the positive perspective on the
value of diversity in our society that is contained in the Review of
Immigration Policy August 1986. But this does not mean that the globalisation
of immigration to New Zealand was an “unintended consequence of policy
changes in 1986”. It was a deliberate strategy, based on a premise that the
“infusion of new elements to New Zealand life has been of immense value to
the development of this country to date and will, as a result of this
Government’s review of immigration policy, become even more important in
the future” (Burke 1986:330).

New Zealand’s population is undergoing a profound transformation in
terms of its ethnic and cultural composition. This transformation is being
driven by two key processes. The first of these is differential ageing of the
major components of the resident population with the dominant “white”
population experiencing structural ageing more rapidly than the Maori and
Pacific Island components (Pool 1999). The second is international
migration which is seeing a replacement in numerical terms of tens of
thousands of New Zealanders who are moving overseas by immigrants from
countries in Asia, Europe and Africa especially. This process of population
is occurring at a time when natural increase amongst all
components of the New Zealand resident population is falling. International
migration is thus playing an increasingly important role in changing the
ethnic and cultural composition of the population, but to understand this
role it is necessary to examine both the immigration of new residents as well
as the emigration of New Zealanders. Both dimensions are essential for
appreciating the globalisation of international migration in New Zealand.

The Globalisation of International Migration
in New Zealand: Contribution to a Debate

To the puzzlement of many and the delight of some, New Zealand has not been exempt from such transformations even if it has taken some time for us to perceive the shape of the new order.

Some mythical pakeha, Paul Spoonley
Inventing New Zealand. Everyday Myths of Pakeha Identity 
Claudia Bell

Written in 2002, a typical intellectualisation and academisation, by a bunch of academics, using a lot of lengthy words and tortuous language does not warn of the prospect we would end up with a bunch of glorified diswashers - doesn't even mention it

In retrospect - what was it about?

At the national level there can be significant resistance to the transnational revolution that Papademetriou and others argue is reshaping societies and politics everywhere. Parr (2000), in a thought-provoking critique of the “globalising potential” of recent immigration for New Zealand, uses data from national and local surveys of residents to assess the extent to which localism, as distinct from globalism, is reflected in the attitudes New Zealanders have toward immigration and immigrants.
Parr’s (2000:329) general conclusion is that “the views of New Zealanders are not conducive to the population of New Zealand becoming more diversified globally”.
He suggests that the Review of Immigration Policy August 1986, which ushered in a new age of immigration policy in New Zealand, has not produced “a globalisation of immigration”. Rather, he argues, there has been an Asianisation of immigration because of a strong focus of immigration policy through the late 1980s and early 1990s on linking New Zealand more closely to the Pacific rim countries of Asia (Trlin and Kang 1992). He suggests that “besides Asians and immigrants from traditional source countries, few immigrants have come from other places” (Parr 2000:329).

The paper is critiquing the above and seems to say "oh well New Zealanders may not have wanted to become diverse but "oh well [expletive] em. It's proceeding apace thanks to the superior intellects of the likes of us"
The original quote is as close as i can find to a smoking gun (although Chris trotter quotes Sonja Davis)

“If people had any idea about the scale of these changes,” she confided to me early in her first term as MP for Pencarrow,” they’d be horrified. It’s been decided that New Zealand’s future lies in Asia. That’s got massive implications – but most people haven’t a clue. No one asked them and certainly no one’s telling them.

Actually the globalisation of immigration meme is rubbish:

The analysis of global migration patterns by Czajka and de Haas (2014) shows that while an absolute number of international migrants has increased, the world population grew even faster, as a consequence, the proportion of global migrants has actually decreased from 3.1% of the world population in 1960 to 2.7% in 2000. Their data also show that in the Americas and the Pacific, the numbers of immigrants have increased but the diversity of the categories has not. These findings are echoed in recent migration reports that highlight marked differences between the developed North, where migrants constitute 10.8% of the
population and developing regions where they constitute only 1.6% and where some countries are neither an important source nor destination for migration flows. They also show that in 2013, 51% of the world’s migrants were living in ten countries: USA, Russian Federation, Germany, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Australia, and Spain (UN DESA, 2013; WMR, 2015). The concentration of migrants in a “shrinking pool of prime destination countries” (p. 315), many of them small countries in Western Europe, led Czajka and de Haas’ (2014) to conclude that “the idea that immigration has become more diverse may partly reveal a Eurocentric worldview” (p. 314).
The efforts to create ethno-nationalist states in the ruins of multilingual and multiethnic Yugoslavia and the USSR triggered the process Brubaker (1998) termed ethnic unmixing, a bilateral exchange involving out-migration of ethnolinguistic minorities and in-migration of the titulars. As a result, the proportion of titulars
has increased in successor states of the former Yugoslavia and in all of the post-Soviet states, with the exception of the Russian Federation. In Kazakhstan, for instance, Kazakhs constituted 30% of the population in 1959 but by 2009 their proportion rose to 63.1%; even stronger homogenization can be observed in Azerbaijan, where the proportion of Azeris rose from 67.5% in 1959 to 91.6% in 2009 (CIS Statistics, 2013). A similar trend can be observed in Croatia, where between 1991 and 2011 the proportion of Croats increased from 78.1% to 90.4% and the proportion of Serbs decreased from 12.2% to 4.4% (Croatian Bureau of Statistics, 2012).

Not to mention the huge strain being placed on infrastructure in Auckland


I'm all for a bit of ugly nationalism engulfing NZ when it comes to immigration and population increase.


Me too , we can afford to be selective about people coming here . The planet will be congested with 10 billion people in the next generation , why should we have to be part of this mess ?

Wow, great policy GM. You will get huge traction on this, unfortunately you will get exactly the opposite on taxing private homes...

...i own a home and am all for the tax.

As mentioned above, home ownership rates are low, if you own 10 houses you still only get 1 vote, there's a lot of renters out there...

Landlords vote. Tenants don't. Simple as that.

Nice sweeping statement there champ. Thanks for the heads up. Yawn...


The majority of house owners would not pay more taxes. Capital taxes would be used to decrease income taxes. More tax would be paid by wealthy asset owners. No-one is forced to own a 4 bedroom house for one person or own more houses of you aren't making a decent income out of them. We will need a comprehensive capital tax if more assets are bought by people or corporations intent on minimising their tax in our country. They will get the benefit of owning assets in our secure society while not paying for that security unless they are forced to contribute. If the return on the asset is not there then asset prices will come down. I am one of those asset owners but I would rather live in a fair society than prosper at the expense of others and end up living behind walls as they do in other grossly unequal societies I have seen.

I am with Gareth on most of these issues ............


Just read NZ First's immigration policy. Sounds roughly the same.
So if you like this immigration policy but don't like taxing your personal assets, then just vote NZ First.

Many baby boomers already do vote for Winston , personally I just dont trust him, he never answers questions with a straight answer , and has an awful history of doing things that can be described as sneaky , at best.

Agree, the only reason NZ First doesn't get my vote is because he is Winston.

Yes, Winston is suddenly getting a whole new heap of admirers/supporters, aye.

I will still vote for winston for a real possibility of change.

He's got no chance forget it and face it. Trump always had a great chance as it was a 2 horse race.

Feel the need to repeat yourself, did ya?

I think TOP has great potential to do well next year. All they need to do is get the message right on their tax policy (the policy is sound, it's just the dissemination) and build on this immigration policy with equally well devised policy.
TOP won't get landslide results, but I wouldn't be surprised if they seat better than ACT and UF combined. Such a result would be a huge success for them on a first outing.

They need a simple 3 word slogan that is easily understood

A simple message that will sell it, eludes me

Opportunity ... let me think ... hmmmmm ... what opportunity is there for me in "opportunity"

I thought that would be pretty simple.
80% of New Zealanders better off. Shouldn't be too hard to sell.
It should be a no-brainer for any person earning under the median wage.
Hell, it should be a no-brainer for anyone earning over that too. Alas we must endure the mypoic, for some reason.

Lock Her Up??? 3 fairly short words, worked in USA

Build a wall!

I suspect we'll see the end of ACT and the end of UF at the next election.

You would have to think so.

Act have been thrashing around for a while in their death throes.
Dunne's majority gets lower at every election.

Mind you, I thought they would both be gone last election and they somehow survived - Politicians are like slightly less useful cockroaches.

Act isn't going anywhere, they are too useful of a proxy for National.

Property king, you sound like a scared man. A good sign indeed. Your bleating won't alter the course, best you wait and hope.

Trump may also be a reaction against that great glob the mainstream media and party machine. I would like to see an end to party hacks like jacinda Adern.

Or maybe Bill English

Immigration is easy to fix, with some political will. Taxation is not that easy to fix, even with political will.
But these debates starting to be on MSM shows may be why Key bailed out ?
He saw the will of the people changing and knew what it would mean in the last year of his government, if he hang on.
Now English has been set up for failure, do you think ?

Key didn't bail out because the MSM is getting courageous


MSM is getting courageous since Key pulled the pin

When the Cat is away and all that, right ?

"...for a more liberal and tolerant society in the wake of Brexit, Trump and "the march of ugly nationalism engulfing Europe".

Gareth - the underlying issue is RESOURCES. Less resources per person = go back to your default group setting and circle the wagons. This is where the world is at.
Thinking world events are "non liberal / intolerant" is a symptom of the largese we have all enjoyed the last century. That is until population kept doubling ...
Now human population is way past overshoot ... so being nice doesnt cut it. When resources get thin, conflict will happen and is what we are witnessing. NZ wont be spared with "nice" policies.

The issue for Gareth and TOP is to get the messages into the minds of the nation. And what use is our media in this? We have had eight years of John Key's assertions that there's nothing to think about, and the general media (bar National Radio) have followed that line.

To get any value from these ideas, TOP has to first to break through media lethargy. The country needs new political thinking, and it desperately needs the means to get this thinking heard. Somehow TOP needs to become a movement - the kind of thing that has disrupted and overturned the status quo elsewhere in the world.

He needs to do something outrageous to get noticed

Yes, like setting a target to lower our prison population through sensible drug policy, based on the evidence of social harm, i.e., the real costs of drug abuse to society.

Such evidence-based policy would support ending cannabis prohibition; support taxing the hell out of alcohol; and using the prison and justice system savings to fund proper substance abuse health initiatives.

Now that, I'd be impressed with.

Oh Kate! I'd vote for you! ;) Yip, on board. Especially taxing of alcohol....

Thanks but nothing new - every single law commission and/or other independent research done on the subject here for the past decade or more has said exactly that. From what I've seen, even the Greens drug policy doesn't address alcohol harm. I'm bloody sick of watching my tobacco tax dollars pay for our police, ambulance and hospital emergency services to be used and abused by the drunken Fri/Sat night crowds. Any political party that supported what National/Maori have done to tobacco taxes and tobacco sales/promotion legislation... but fails to now turn that extreme punitive focus onto alcohol is an absolute hypocrite. And the worst are the Maori Party given the unbelievable harm alcohol has on Maori tamariki. Shameful, shameful, shameful - they might as well openly promote violence and abuse, because that's just what alcohol is doing to their constituency.. I'm not so sure we all want a NZ where a bottle of gin is cheaper than the cost of a pack of cigarettes?

Yes very true workingman. Gareth needs to avoid the trap of esoteric policy. He won't get very far if you need an economics degree to be able to relate. I also think Main St will need to meet him half way with a level of dissatisfaction that will push them to take notice. Similar to the Trump scenario.

he's broken through one good media, who follow his

He doesn't need traditional media to get to the target disenfranchised audience. Twitter, snapchat, instagram, thats where a lot of 18 - 30 year olds are forming their views, not watching the news on the tele and reading papers. If a political party can motivate and move the youth vote they could make a good run at it.

workingman ... I do not believe he needs msm to break through. MSM just lost the 'war' in the States when their darling Hillary got hammered. They lost in the sense that for the second time (Brexit #1) they lost their influence to create an outcome. It is hugely significant and it signifies a major shift of power. It has them rattled big time, as with it goes dollars.

All Morgan needs to do is create noise on social media and get the chatter going in support. Do your best to 'share' and 'like' and it will happen.

Common sense

We are strongly pro-immigration as another tool in the box to improve the prosperity of New Zealanders.
Does anyone consider immigration for emmigration or mutually beneficial exchanges rather than source country [Armpitistan] and receiving country [Good old (formerly) NZ]?

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the ugliest nationalist of them all?
Peters?, Morgan?Vladimir Zhirinovsky?Stephen Bannon?
Which is the handsomest?(hint:don't suggest Pauline Hanson) anyone??

Whatever the merits of what Gareth is saying, I am happy he is saying it. At this rate we may have an election based on policies next year, rather than a personality driven cash grab.

I like the clear policy releases on important issues. I like that you appear to have a vision for the future of NZ. I like that you get the inequality thing and i think you have the best interests of NZers at heart. As of right now with only two policy releases, i would vote for your party above the two incumbents. Falls a bit short of NZ First policy but still a step in the right direction. Good on you Gareth please persevere (we need more than bread and circuses but, we are a fickle bunch)

Another good policy. Keep it up Gazza!

As a Phoenix fan, I would like to see Gazza announce a policy that funds the Phoenix 100million a year out of taxes. Get a couple of top drawer Euro players for that

A word search failed to find "diversity". That's a good sign.

I can't wait for David Farrar to cover TOPS Immigration policy.
David is "very pro migration"

After reading most of these comments I am no longer under any delusions - we are in a socialist country and we are likely to become more so. If someone has worked and saved then they should be penalised, and Marx would have approved. Has never ever worked before but that won't stop the momentum created by idiots like Gareth. Destroy the real economy, stoke revolution and war and then just rinse and repeat.

This party will go nowhere.
It will wither on the vine.

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