New data showing unemployment dropping to the lowest levels since 2008 and in a month of higher-than-average immigration figures backs UnitedFuture’s call for a more sensible discussion on the impact of immigration on New Zealand society.
“Too often we have heard calls for big changes to our immigration system on the basis that immigration is putting pressure on our job market.
“This data shows that this is a simple falsehood being peddled for political gain at the expense of new and established migrants to our country,” said Mr Dunne.
“Figures released by Statistics New Zealand on 3 November 2016 shows that Unemployment has dropped to 4.9%, the lowest level since 2008. At the same we have the second highest employment rate in the developed world, inflation remains low and wages are rising.
“All of this economic good news despite the fearmongering being pedalled on immigration.
“Immigration will naturally ebb and flow, but we cannot encourage the ‘us and them’ narratives that emerge every time there is a bump in immigration numbers,” said Mr Dunne.
“Let’s start with what we know, the vast majority of people who immigrate to New Zealand do so in order to build a better life for themselves, their children and their families.
“They do that by working here, bringing needed skills, contributing culture and diversity, releasing innovation and adding new dimensions to our society.
“These qualities make our society stronger, they add value to New Zealand and inject a richness to our communities which benefits everyone in this country,” said Mr Dunne.
“That is not just an opinion, it is established by facts.
“Immigration adds billions to the New Zealand economy, the people who come here do so to work and contribute and they fill gaps in industries that struggle to find employees otherwise.
“Small and medium businesses form the backbone of our country and skilled migration has provided the opportunities grow businesses and expand our economy.
“If our goal is business growth the last thing we should want is a Labour-style immigration tax or the New Zealand First style wall,” said Mr Dunne.
“Industries like the horticultural industry, the industries involved in the Christchurch rebuild, or any cutting edge industry who needs to compete internationally and locally can and do benefit from a global market of skills without impacting the opportunities for New Zealanders.
“UnitedFuture is the party with a plan for delivering better results for New Zealand and our migrant population,” said Mr Dunne
UnitedFuture’s plan for immigration have four key ideas:
1) Establish a ten-year population plan to monitor demographic and skills change in order to ensure our immigration policy is flexible and not vulnerable to reactive changes;
2) Create a fast-track for new migrants based on a job offer in a sector suffering from a skills shortage to ensure better matching between the need for skilled employment and new immigration;
3) Create a fast-track for family reunification for migrants who have a majority of their family already residing in New Zealand and can demonstrate the ability to support them;
4) Introduce better programmes to support new migrants to involve themselves within their communities and harness their innovative qualities.
“UnitedFuture wants to unleash the benefits that immigration can deliver us and rebuff the damaging us-and-them narratives that are being perpetuated about immigration and migrants,” Mr Dunne concluded.
See more at www.unitedfuture.org,nz/immigration