New Zealand’s Immigration policy needs an overhaul.
We do not believe immigration or overseas money should be used as the major driver of the economy.
Currently, under the Investor category a person can gain residence by investing $1.5 million in New Zealand.
Under the Investor Plus category if a person invests $10 million or more, the immigration requirements for age, business experience, and speaking English are dropped and the person only needs to live in New Zealand for 44 days per year.
New Zealand does not need such investment, so the purchase of residency will be stopped immediately.
True investment will be provided by New Zealanders under the provisions of our Finance policy.
Granting of immigration status will not mean open door access to distant relatives and will be limited to immediate family.
Annual net immigration will be confined within a range (currently 15,000 to 22,000) which meets New Zealand's labour requirements, and meets our responsibilities to the international community. The range will be reviewed annually.
Skills Based and Productive Focussed
Immigration will be heavily biased towards skills needed to provide a strong service sector (such as health & education), and develop a sustainable internal supply chain and healthy export capacity.
Entrepreneurs will be encouraged, but only in fields that support this goal.
People with specialist knowledge or skills, experienced in operating or working in successful enterprises outside of major cities, will be especially targeted to boost regional development.
Funding for local initiatives will be available under our Finance policy and ultra high speed fibre internet, such as has been rolled out in Northland, will make it more attractive for some businesses to relocate to, or new ventures establish in, the regions.
These and other policies will create a positive incentive for immigrants to consider settling in regional centres.
With the exception of existing relationships with countries in the Pacific, immigration quotas will be set to ensure smooth integration into existing communities and avoid, where possible, clustering of large ethnic communities into specific areas. Quota assessment criteria will be developed and regularly reviewed.
A significant number of migrant workers are being brought in for relatively low skilled jobs on low rates of pay. They often work and live in unacceptable conditions. This is not fair on either New Zealand workers or the migrant workers involved.
Penalties for migrant worker exploitation will be increased and actively enforced.
Kiwi Workers First
We will require businesses to give Kiwi workers a fair chance before they’re given the right to bring in workers from overseas.
Our Finance policy will give employers access to very low interest rates on money borrowed to increase efficiency and capacity through installing new technology and equipment. This will be conditional on wage rates increasing as the resulting improvement in bottom lines flows through.
As an interim measure, under our Adequate Living Income policy Kiwi workers will have significant incentive to take up lower paid jobs.
Under our Worker Shareholding policy, workers will be assisted to become shareholders in the companies they work for, and therefore gain additional income through dividends.
These changes will put in place measures to ensure Kiwis are given the priority they deserve at the same time as still allowing employers with a genuine need to get the labour they require.
The Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme which allows people from Pacific Island nations to work in New Zealand for part of the year will be continued. This provides a flow of money back to the Islands, and is more positive support than is often provided through direct foreign aid.
Exploitation of Workers in the Fishing Industry
We will give urgency to ensuring that every fishing vessel operating in our waters including our Exclusive Economic Zone is operating under all of our laws and regulations to stop the exploitation of overseas workers, and assist with protecting our fishing stocks.
Refugee and Asylum Seekers
We will increase the current quota of 750 refugees per year to 1,000 to recognise a significant increase in genuine refugees needing resettlement.
Retaining & Returning Kiwi Talent
New Zealand’s greatest need is to retain the services of its own citizens. The loss overseas of those with academic and business acumen must be reduced. We will endeavour to do this, and to attract back those who have already left, by stabilising our cost of living, reducing taxation, and other measures in our economic policies.