Labour's immigration policy targets KiwiBuild workers and apprentice boost; Aims to cut 20,000-30,000 work, study and post-study visas per year; Little says it's time to take a breather

Labour's immigration policy targets KiwiBuild workers and apprentice boost; Aims to cut 20,000-30,000 work, study and post-study visas per year; Little says it's time to take a breather

By Alex Tarrant

Labour will seek to use immigration settings to encourage foreign tradespeople into the country to build its 100,000 KiwiBuild homes while also boosting the supply of local apprentices.

Meanwhile, other measures in the party’s Election 2017 immigration policy are aimed at cutting the number of foreign workers and students issued work, study and post-study visas by 20,000-30,000 per year.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little said Monday it was “time for a breather on immigration.”

In the year to March, Immigration NZ issued a little over 226,000 work visas, while there were 82,000 student visas on issue at the start of April.

However, much of the political attention this year has centred around Stats NZ’s net migration figures showing annual net inflows of just over 70,000. The figures include New Zealanders and Australians who have free rights to work here.

Labour has attacked current migration settings as contributing to housing demand, traffic congestion, school overcrowding and pressure on other public services. It has also said not enough has been done to attract construction workers or train locals in the trades.

Construction firms will be exempt from applying the existing labour market test to bring in up to 1,500 foreign tradespeople at any one time if employers promise to take on a local apprentice for every migrant under a new ‘KiwiBuild Visa’ proposed by Labour.

Employers will be allowed to pay KiwiBuild Visa workers as little as the ‘living wage’ of about $20 an hour. The cost of each apprentice will be partially covered by Labour’s ‘Dole for Apprenticeships’ policy.

Meanwhile, a new ‘Exceptional Skills Visa’ will also allow an extra 1,000 people into the country without having to go through the full Skilled Migrant process if they can prove experience or qualifications above and beyond those required to plug a long-term skills gap.

The highlights of Labour’s policies designed to cut visa issuance include:

  • No student visas will be issued for courses below a bachelor’s degree level, unless those courses have been assessed as ‘high quality’ by the TEC and NZQA.
  • Any international students that are issued visas for courses below bachelor level will not be allowed to work while they study, unless the course has the ability to work approved as part of the course; International students studying at Bachelor level or higher will be permitted to work while studying.
  • The one-year Post Study Work Visa – Open will be limited to those international students who have studied at Bachelor level or higher.
  • A ‘regionalised’ system will ensure skilled immigrants work in the region a visa is issued for.
  • For jobs not on skills shortage lists, visas will only be issued when a “genuine effort” has been made to find Kiwi workers, including more active enforcement of the labour market test to ensure employers have offered rates of pay and working conditions that are at least the market rate, and that they have plans in place to train locals.
  • Skilled Migrant Category bonus points currently gained from having studied or worked in New Zealand will be removed.
  • Age points will be standardised to 30 for any applicants under the age of 45.

The numbers

Labour’s policy document shows changes are expected to result in 6,000 to 10,000 fewer visas being issued per year to international students in low level courses at Private Training Establishments (PTEs);

Changes to post-study settings are expected to reduce the number of these visas issued by 9,000 to 12,000 per year.

Changes to work visa settings are expected to reduce issuance by 5,000 to 8,000. All up, Labour says the changes are expected to result in about 20,000 to 30,000 fewer visas being issued per year.

Labour said that consequential reductions in family and partner visas "in the thousands" would also be expected as a result of the changes.

In the year to March, Immigration NZ issued 226,000 work visas, with 56,000 issued to people applying from offshore; the majority of applications were made by people already in the country.

In the categories targeted by Labour’s policy, about 21,000 student job search visas were issued to former international students in the year to March 2017.

Separate Immigration NZ figures show at the end of March/start of April, there were 22,217 visas on issue for students at Private Training Establishments.

And, of the 226,000 ‘work’ visas issued in the year to March, just over 38,000 of these were skilled work visas.

Other 'work' visa issuance in the year to March include: 74,700 Working Holiday Visas; 11,100 Recognised Seasonal Employment (RSE) visas; 37,000 relationship visas; 33,000 ‘other’ visas; 1500 foreign vessel shipping crew visas, 3,800 work-to-residence visas and 2,200 visas issued to people in the country illegally.

The policy from Labour follows tweaks made by the current National-led government in April, including proposed changes introducing a $48,000 wage floor for any migrants wishing to enter the country under the Skilled Migrant Category, and a $73,000 floor for those whose occupations are not on the skilled list.

‘Take a breather’

Announcing the policy, Labour Party leader Andrew Little said it was time for a breather on immigration.

The “moderate, sensible reforms” proposed would “reduce the pressure on our cities while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs,” he said.

“New Zealand is a country built on immigration. When new migrants come here, they enrich our country and make New Zealand a better place. We’ve always welcomed migrants to our country, and will continue to do do.”

But Little added that at 130,000, or the population of Tauranga, four times more people had arrived in New Zealand since 2013 than had been forecast.

“After nine years, National has failed to make the necessary investments in housing, infrastructure, and public services that are needed to cope with this rapid population growth. It’s contributed to the housing crisis, put pressure on hospitals and schools, and added to congestion on roads,” he said.

Immigration needed to be sustainable, he said. “We reviewed the system from top to bottom and found that several areas were being abused and not delivering the results Kiwis expect.”

Existing policies had created “a backdoor to residency via low-level study and low-skill work, he said. “These have had the perverse effect that a 23 year old with a New Zealand diploma and three years’ experience in retail can get more points towards residency than a 45 year old Oncologist who wants to migrate here.”

A third of international students studying at PTEs say they plan to work or seek residency here after study, Little said. “Closing off the ability to work during and after study for people who do low-level courses will stop backdoor immigration. We will end the culture of exploitation and corruption that’s grown up to prey on people using this route to come to New Zealand.”

However, Labour would seek to ensure employers got the skills needed, Little said, referencing improved regionalisation of skills shortages lists, the new ‘Exceptional Skills Visa’ and KiwiBuild Visa.

KiwiBuild Visa

The three-year KiwiBuild Visa would seek to attract 1,000 to 1,500 tradespeople at a given time. These places are expected to be additional to construction work visas issued under existing rules, Labour said.

The new visa would allow employers to not have to apply the existing local Labour Market Test for work visas if they promised to take on a local apprentice at the same time, per migrant. Labour said its ‘Dole for Apprenticeships’ scheme would help cover some of the cost to employers taking on apprentices.

Employers tapping the KiwiBuild visa will be obliged to pay at least the ‘living wage’ to every migrant trade worker in the country under that category.

Exceptional skills

Meanwhile, up to 1,000 people every year will be able to come to New Zealand under a new ‘Exceptional Skills’ visa. The category will be available to people who can show they are on the long-term skills shortage list and have significant experience or qualifications beyond that required or are internationally renowned for their skills and talents.

Successful applicants will avoid the usual points system requirements for a Skilled Migrant Category visa, and would be allowed to bring their partner and children within the visa; the 1,000 setting includes partners and children.

Student visa cuts

Labour said it would stop issuing student visas for courses below a bachelor’s degree which are not independently assessed by the TEC and NZQQ as being of “high quality.” It will also limit the ability to work while studying to international students at bachelor level or higher, unless a course below that has the ability to work approved as part of that course.

MBIE would be involved in a process to determine whether courses offering qualifications below bachelor’s level would be suitable enough for student visa applications.

“In recent years there has been a substantial increase in low-level study and reports of sham courses being used as a route to work and eventual residency. Many stories have emerged of people being exploited both in their home countries and in New Zealand by people offering study as a backdoor to residency,” Labour says in its policy document.

“Making these changes is expected to reduce net migration by around 6,000 to 10,000 a year in returning the number of international students in low level courses at Private Training Establishments closer to their previous level,” it says.

Labour said it does not expect the plan to adversely impact universities, polytechnics or schools. “We estimate our plan to introduce three years free post-school education will see domestic enrolments grow 15%, reversing the projected decline under National,” it says.

Post-study work

Applications for the Post Study Work – Open visa will be limited to graduates who studied at bachelor’s level or higher. “Currently any international student who has completed a course long enough is able to apply for a one year work visa without having a job. This work visa and the prior qualification have become a loophole to gain a longer-term work visa and residency,” Labour says.

“As with the ability to work while studying, this avenue into work after study has fostered an industry of low-value courses that don’t deliver real education but serve as a backdoor route for immigration. It is damaging our international reputation and places pressure on our infrastructure. Labour’s proposed approach is a middle ground. It does not remove the visa entirely, as occurred in the UK in 2012.”

Regionalised shortages, labour market test

Labour said a new regionalised skilled visa system would “work with local councils, unions and business to determine where shortages exist.” It will require skilled immigrants to work in the region that their visa is issued for.

“This will prevent skills shortages in one region being used to justify work visas in another, while also making it easier for regions with specific needs to have those skills shortage[s] met.”

Labour said it would also develop training plans with industry training organisations in regions with shortages, “so that the need for skilled workers is met domestically in the long-term.”

Meanwhile, more active enforcement of the labour market test will ensure employers seeking migrant workers for occupations not on the skills shortage lists have to have offered locals at least market rates of pay and working conditions, and have plans in place for training locals.

Skilled Migrant Category and age bonus points will also be standardised. “Currently older, higher-skilled and experienced workers from overseas are at a disadvantage to recent graduates and temporary workers already in New Zealand. This change will ensure skilled migrants are chosen on the basis of the skills and experience they offer not where they have most recently lived.”

Update adds line that: 'Labour said that consequential reductions in family and partner visas "in the thousands" would also be expected as a result of the changes.'

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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Thank God - sense at last from Wellington


Finally, a policy on offer at this election that actually tackles the problems, including making employers take on a Kiwi apprentice for every foreign builder allowed in. Each of the three major opposition parties now vow to cut immigration.


This announcement on immigration sealed my vote to Labour. Well done Labour.


Something rational from a major political party!


Make sense. It is time to take a breather. No one is saying that immigration should stop or slow down forever but yes at the moment should control it for time being and can again open it up in few years as and when the need arise.

It is an open secret that education is a scam here. Most are coming not to study but is a pathway to residency.

Many businesses are crying not because will not find staff but because will not find cheap staff. Most are not even paid minimum wages or paid minimum fixed wages but work long hour as a result is underpaid.

Most professionals work far more than their contracted hours. I knew young lawyers working 65 hour weeks despite being paid only for 37.5 hour weeks.


"No one is saying that immigration should stop or slow down forever" uuuum. I am saying it. Maybe it's just me and that other fella. (but seriously, I think lots are saying it )

I'm saying: when setting immigration policy we need to have a long term population target in mind. One that the New Zealand public has voted on.
Why do we never seem to have long term planning?

Yes what bothers me is the ideology behind immigration policy. NZ was a white racist state being 95% European up until 1980 (about).

The immigration policy review in 1986 was part of a much larger agenda for change in New Zealand (Bedford 1996). It was not essentially a change in state policy with a primary focus on one region of the world, as Parr (2000:329) suggests, although clearly through the 1980s and 1990s immigration from countries in Asia was a highly topical issue for both politicians and the public. 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). The data on arrivals, departures, approvals, refugee flows and net migration gains and losses reported in this paper indicates that “the infusion of new elements” into New Zealand society is proceeding apace. There is no suggestion in immigration policy in 2002 that this will not “become even more important in the future”, as Burke (1986) assumed in the mid-1980s.

and they go on to cheer for "population replacement" [seriously]:

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

And like the anti-smacking referendum they overuled the 85%
Parr (2000) writes “[T]he views of New Zealanders are not conducive to the population of New Zealanders becoming more diversified globally.”

From localism to globalism? New Zealand Sociology, 15(2), 304-. 335
The Chinese see them for what they are:

baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.

Im a bit THICK JH what does that all mean.

Just to be sure that this don't mean that I have to do apprenticeship to get benefit. Not all people can do apprenticeship, some of us don't do heavy work.


there used to be a wide range of apprenticeships, not all involving heaving lifting, its time we put the focus back on trades instead of trying to send everyone to university.
it will be interesting to see next months poll, I don't think it will change due to the methodology of gaining data, but the groundswell is definitely behind lowering immigration

Still guessing this is Ralph's sockpuppet. Resemble's Ralph's lineup of fine straw men.

You are sockpuppet straw man. No need be rude internet troll.

Young Nats troll infestation in Aisle 9!

From memory they had some fancy way of telling if an account was a troll, which they used to tell if Zachary was the same person as DGZ. This guy just seems like a mildly uneducated socialist who recently discovered the internet.


Making employers take on a Kiwi apprentice for every foreign builder allowed in, and supporting it with a dole based subsidy offset is smart and simple. Well done.

Finally something Labour has done that I agree with. Now if only they could do a bit more fine tuning towards the center right and rid themselves of the Greens they will have pulled me from the Natz.


This seems a really well thought out and sensible policy. In every regard. Hope they get to implement it.


This is well thought policy indeed and not able to be countered by National because after their neglect of nine years anything they do now is completely unbelievable

You underestimate the National party's lack of conscience when it comes to stealing, others' ideas.

Isn't it for the good of the country if they steal it? i.e. wouldn't it be more beneficial if both major parties are looking down this track? I always vote for what I believe is for the good of the country. Not for the sake of Red vs Blue or what i personally benefit from it.


No, sod them, if they can't come up with solutions, they don't deserve to be in power.

And if they lose you will have something to whine about......

Voting as based on the issues instead of political affiliation? How rare! I am glad that there is at least one other person out there that votes via policy stance rather than via party affiliation.

I would say voting for the party that stole the idea rather than the one who came up with it would have to be the absolute epitome of voting on party lines.

It is somewhat rare for people to vote as based on only a single issue. I would hope that people would vote for the party that has the best total package for the country. Unfortunately, some if not many, vote for the best package that benefits their own self interest instead of what is best overall.

I still tend to desire equality of opportunity, although I can understand how some desire equality of outcome. As to the people that vote for a party because they feel most affiliated with the party rather than with the policy stance... these are the ill informed voters that vote based on sound bite knowledge rather than in-depth understanding. It is clear that some are in the latter group, even here on this site. sigh.

Well this ill informed voter has less money in his pocket from National, and the roads are congested from National, Hospitals have ques from National, Housing is more unaffordable and life has pretty much gone downhill since national. Sigh.

I may not read policies and get into the boring detail, but my vote counts as much as someone who does. I vote based on how my life is, the quality I preceive to impact my life and . how much money I have in my pocket. Since National have been in, everything has gotten worse. So Im definitely not voting for National. I did the last two times, but I will never vote for them again, unless another party completly ruins NZ, and National want to get back in power and offer alternatives.

Hence the entertainment of the tyranny of the 51%.

I'm going with George Bernard Shaw on this one "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul"

The thing I find intesting about coupling democracy with capitalism, and agreeing with George Bernard Shaws statement - is that you eventually end up with less Pauls and more Peters as the capitalist model plays out. So Peters votes the Pauls out of power, then the government of Peters robs Paul, so the new goverment can always depend upon the support of Peters, until a point when more Pauls outnumbers the Peters, so the government of Pauls reigns again, then starts robbing from Peter again......

And so the cycle continues...

"In a system where people have a vote, if you ignore the needs of enough people for enough time, eventually they will kill you." - Dan Carlin.

Of course, this applies to non-democratic systems as well. Create enough losers in the system (by say, capturing all profits for the executives and stiffing the workers and decimating the middle class) and it's a powerfully destablising element.

If you worry that company execs are making all the money then why not just become one? It costs about $150 to reserve your company name and register with MBIE, GST registration is free. For $300 all up I'll setup the company for you.

You can literally afford to own a company (and become a company exec) with about half of a single week of dole.

Yep it's good policy - for the short term. I would like to add (as usual) that we need to set a population target for the nation. A population target by it's nature is a long term permanent policy. Talking immigration is only talking the rate of flow across border and is short term.
My preferred target population for New Zealand is two million, but I would settle for five million if that was the political settlement.

The question to ask all the parties is what will they do if their predictions about immigration prove false. In the UK they said 15,000 Poles would arrive and it was more like half a million. And someone in these comments says the totals arriving are 4 times as many as National predicted a few years ago.

My preferred solution - cap each country of origin - I was told that that would be racist but they have been doing it for working holiday visas for at least 20 years. Just set the cap to be about the same as previous years plus 50. That would encourage rich diversity with a gentle move towards more applicants from small countries.

Cap by country - not racist at all and in line with arrangements many countries effectively have ( free movement within the EU .. but not from outside the EU ). Unfortunately the PC crowd will never let this fly .
Same as previous years as the quota basis - not a good idea I think ..

or just set a cap per year, adjusted every three years, so at this stage it should be 15-20K net total.

A major step in the right direction.
As ever the devil in the detail - the labour inspectorate will need to stengthened.
The Nationals have made some sensible proposals due to be implemented in August (I wonder if that date is deliberately after the July student intake?) which will improve matters but only if they ensure cheating doesn't occur. At present it is far too easy to cheat - see

Current immigration failures result in housing crisis, traffic congestion, shortages of class rooms, etc but I would put up with all of these just to get New Zealand's reputation restored.

Has anyone heard/read/seen Big Bill's response?

just like housing they will deny its a problem

Less than 7,000 work visas were issued to construction workers and those in related trades out of more than 200,000 permits, and Bill English insists cutting immigration will affect home building. I am sure a substantial proportion of those 7k must be re-issuance of visas to construction workers extending their stay in NZ.
Tour guides, retail labourers and cooks are the most common occupations of migrants brought in every year, that does not help grow our construction or IT sector, Bill.


The entire immigration boom is only an Auckland story and has had no visible effects on the regions whatsoever. Labour's focused and planned strategy makes more sense as skill shortages in some regions are quite endemic.
Fun (not so much) fact about the current "generic migration" policy: An person I met has recently secure NZ residency permit working as an ICT professional. Reality - He works as a tech support personnel of a telecommunication company which passes of as an IT analyst in the eyes of INZ. God save us!


Cheating is rife. Our reputation is for being both gullible and willing to overlook corruption.

here is a quote from Auckland University Dec 2016 "People in New Zealand are working 80-90 hour weeks for $500, being paid for half the hours they work and paying their own salary to “buy” permanent residency, a new study reveals"

Maybe the most important issue for voters.

I like the new highly skilled visa - presumably with a fast track through the bureaucracy - suitable for professors and brain surgeons and engineers and architects earning over $200,000.

Should quietly reconsider the family reunion that was arbitrarily frozen last year. I had always assumed it was a way for elderly Chinese to get our superannuation but checking the figures I was wrong - firstly there were many applicants from countries with state pensions which get transferred and the rather high Chinese figures were dominated by successful applicants over the age of 60 and therefore never entitled to our superannuation. But they will have had to produce proof of finance. So it seems as if the nationals only froze the parental reunion (about 10% of new residents) so they could make more money from more students. NZ may be losing good citizens such as Doctors and teachers who will return home to care for their parents - of course the cheap low-skilled will remain because they are too lacking in skills to find well paid work back in their country of origin.

This is not going to do anything about the tens of thousands out there who don't want to work just sit on their butts claiming a benefit and smoke dope. Its sad but true. I see this through my line of work and don't see anything in any parties policies that are going to change this.


One Kiwi in Eight from the age of 17 to 25 is unemployed. They can't all be druggies, prisoners or physically handicapped.
If I was unskilled and young and the only jobs paid peanuts I might prefer to stay on the benefit. In the past if you wanted people to work unsocial hours (eg Restaurants and Hotels) then you paid them more and gave them secure jobs. Now we just dial a 3rd world immigrant.

Encouraging apprenticeships into decent paying jobs is a step in the right direction.

we definitely need more immigrants, as many as possible!

Why? What for?

to build the wall LOL


Finally, a credible policy from Labour that is aimed at tackling one of our most serious problems. If it hadn't been for their recent dopy announcement that tax increases are back on the agenda, their dark threats that capital will be 'appropriately' taxed and that the unions have so much influence over Labour policy, I might have thought about giving them a tick in October. Even with ineffectual foot in mouth Little at the helm.

I'm over Woodhouse didactically instructing us that mass immigration is good, that it will continue and the objections of we plebs will be ignored. I dislike the smug certitude and complacency but which party to vote for is not a single issue decision.

Well it is easy as far as Im concerned. Do you like the way the country is run. Do you want more of the same, if so vote National. If not vote someone else.

NZ depresses me at the moment, I use to brag about NZ and say why do I need a million dollars when I can have a million dollar life in NZ. Now you need a million dollars plus to live in Auckland thanks to National.

I love the people the culture everything, now thats all changing except in the country, country towns are still the same. But we need to keep it that way.


I hope this will mean the closure of all the Nigerian Princeton Universities in this country offering scam courses?


Those institutions are the champions of our education export industry. They run on a low cost-high volume business model, much like the sectors that the government wants us to believe is our pathway to glory.
Our top exports by value in 2016: Whole milk powder, Freedom camping, Poor quality education.

Next up: Allow foreign-owned construction companies to use unskilled imported labour to build low-quality houses for foreign buyers which Kiwis can rent for exorbitant amounts.


Good on Labour to take a stand and come out with sound policy.


40,000 is still far too high, particularly when we have people going homeless.
Lets put these figures into an international perspective. Labours goal of 40,000 immigrants (if we are lucky)
equates to 0.9% of the population. The British are screaming their heads off with 248,000 immigrants for their 63 million population, i.e. 0.39%. In other words Labour are hoping to get our immigration down to 2 to three times that of the UK!!!! Labour are just in a slightly less crazy cloud cuckoo land than National.
Similar statistics for other countries are
USA 0.3% (and they are complaining like hell about it)
France 0.04%
Germany 0.19% (and despite that their population is still falling and economy going gang busters - productivity)
Australia 0.75% (and aren't they regretting it, just look at how hard they are making it for immigrants)
In New Zealand we are currently at 1.5% !!!!!!!!!

You are right. Although I like their proposals we should ask what target figure does Labour want? Of course any government should have the right to adjust targets once they have them under control. ust asking for a population policy.
NZ has the highest legal immigration in the world (except Luxembourg) so even halving it still leaves us on the high side.

Don't you think the population should be consulted on the issue via an informed referendum. After all they are the ones being directly effected.


National are clearly not in touch with the electorate over this immigration story , and its going to cost them BIG


Not in 9 years have made them arrogant and are not able to see anything beyond themselves.

Time to humble them - come this election.

both there major bloggers have not tried posting on this yet, must be waiting for instructions from bill.
my guess is they see the numbers in favour so will have to come up with a bigger watered down version than they would like.
also as listening to one on the radio this avro it a bit hard to shoot down when you are agreeing to shutting down low class courses, was that not part of the national economic plan for export dollars?


Good to start with.

Far better than National who believes in increasing the number. As per national the only way to prosper is by increasing the number up up and UP.

Thumps up to Labour.

As per national most students goes back home so why is media saying that labour targeting international student. If many students as per national goes back than how come the education industry be badly affected unless national knows otherwise and cannot admit for the fear of being exposed.

Also if students come to NZ to study than why are education provider / business worried for it should not affect their business unless education is a scam / cover up - pathway to residency as a result are worried.

Have met so many students and not most but all of them are here for residency

Nationals immigration policy has resulted in wages stagnating while house prices skyrocketed. And all the time arrogantly denying there's a problem.

I would vote Labour but won't because I don't trust the Greens.

Good point on the Greens

I would consider Labour seriously - but will not as a vote for Labour is a vote for the Greens

A vote for Labour is a vote for Labour.

If you do it and they do it, then there's no need for a coalition.

Really good policy thanks Labour I will be voting for you, keep it up.

Im voting Winny would vote labour but they were the first ones to start this immigration rort, so if they get in and change things, then I may vote for them in the next one, until then Winny as hes been consistent on immigration.

They were warned, yet they did nothing

The past is a foreign country - they do things differently there

Winston Peters is visionary - he has been proven right time and time again - yet treated with derision all those years - his mistake has been the manner of his warnings. His biggest mistake was failure to exercise the power to fix things when given it - should he be given another opportunity he needs to appoint fixers

Should remind everyone of the 1966 Aberfan mining town disaster - a coal slag dump heap that got bigger and bigger and bigger and they did nothing about it until one day it collapsed

They were warned, they knew, yet they did nothing
"Our valley was going black, and the slag heap had grown so much it was half-way along to our house. Young I was and small I was, but young or small I knew it was wrong, and I said so to my father"

The mistake that cost a village its children

The most sensible policy announcement from any major party this year. It may pull me back into their camp and stop me voting NZ First which had seemed my only choice till this.

What I want is for us to focus on industries and businesses like Xero, Biotechnology, IT, battery power etc Industries that have a lot of technology and are easily scalable, industries that are not labour intensive, but intellectually intensive. Lets become a global player through innovation, not by housing ponzi and making money from NZers

We are going backwards not forwards, lets create an ecosystem for Unicorns, billion dollar companies. This way we create an environment that are not labour intensive, we create an environment that does not need all this immigration, we create a society where we have a lot of disposable income.

I want more reduction in immigration, this is a good first step though, at least it recognises there is a problem.

With you swapacrate - its all about value added. Buying and selling expensive real estate to one another is a zero sum game.

What we need is investment in industry that creates/adds value. Just finished reading Peter Thiels book Zero to One - the book has some really good insights on how to build the profitable companies of the future and some of your comments above are pretty closely aligned to his point of view.

That sounds like a great book I will get that. Cheers.

But yes, Peter Thiels type of companies we should use as a template, and Peter Thiel seems to love NZ, we should have people like him being part of our future.

The government could do a lot here. Im sure the benefits could be massive, for relatively low cost.

I think most skilled people that are needed for those industries wouldn't want to live in a little backwater with only 1.5 milllion people, no public transport, no vibrant or interesting area to live.

With relatively low average income and exceptionally high average house prices...

I think most of their policy is back to front!
Don't force immigrants to the regions where there is already problems with unemployment. Leave non-Auckland for those who enjoy low population.
Increase the immigration to Auckland to make it a city of scale capable of competing with Melbourne, Sydney, etc. Build more public transport, housing, etc. Plenty of other places manage significantly more growth than Auckland, it shouldn't be hard and it probably almost pays for itself through tax.

What a joke immigration has become here!
Lots of scam-ish stuff.
Having said that, we really need targeted immigration. Saw my mum today in her dementia home, almost all of the wonderful staff are Filipino or Indian. Sectors such as aged care would be a disaster without them

just took family into hospital today for major surgery, of which I meet the three surgeons, American british and not kiwi.
we need to be careful that we still make it ok for the skills we need to come in and at the same time a city they enjoy living in so they don't leave.
so on the biases that we will still allow highly skilled, doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, trades. then the immigration policy should work how it was supposed too.
when it got changed to allow labourers, shelf stackers, shop staff, waiters, chefs, etc whilst we have 130k people not working, that to me was businesses taking advantage of a soft government to lower employment costs and avoid training costs.

As someone trying to buy back into the Auckland market (stupidly sold up & moved to Dunedin for 8 years) the election cannot come sooner for me.

Why oh why would anyone want to return to Auckland. Stay in Dunedin there is so much on offer in that part of the world, especially if you enjoy getting into the outdoors.

Simple really, returned to be closer to family & friends. However lifestyle much easier in Dunedin & rather enjoyed my stunning sea view! Amazing to think I had a sea view in Auckland too. Now I'm looking at being able to afford do up or 2 beddy at the lower end of the market. Quite depressing really.

You were not stupid, who could know that banks would spew out easy credit, borrowers would be reckless, the Reserve Bank would be timid and slow to react, town planners would be incompetent, and immigration spigots left wide open.

Thanks, probably bad luck but it's hard to not feel a little stupid every now & again .. & pissed off!

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