PR – Peter Dunne – Time For A Calming Cup of Tea, Mr Little.
UnitedFuture leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the Leader of the Opposition’s pledge tens of thousands of migrants coming to New Zealand is xenophobic and divisive .
“It is all about pandering to anti-immigration sentiment in New Zealand for short-term political gain that will simply cause unnecessary fear and uncertainty for many migrants.
“Labour needs to stop the dog-whistle waffle and spell out clearly which migrant groups they have in their sights.
“Migrants may just be numbers on a piece of paper to Labour, but they are real people whose lives will be affected if Mr Little gets a chance to implement his half-baked policy,” Mr Dunne says.
Mr Dunne says New Zealand has been built on immigration, which adds a huge amount of economic and cultural value to the country, whether that be through the tax that is paid, the skills that are added to the workforce, the fees paid to tertiary institutions or the innovation and ingenuity added to the economy.
“Mr Little must provide a clear answer on his immigration policy.
“Which families does he want to stop being re-united?
“What skilled worker filling a necessary skill gap does he want to stop coming here?
“What builder of a house, or what fee-paying international student will no longer get entry into New Zealand if Mr Little has his way?” Mr Dunne asks.
Mr Dunne says that while there are obvious pressures being faced around the country in terms of infrastructure and housing, the solutions to these are not to play a short-term blame game to grab a headline.
“For example, we need a National Housing Summit involving central and local government, builders, developers, financiers and social housing agencies to develop a coherent and sustainable response to the current housings shortage.
“We need to be developing new ways of assisting people into first homes – through allowing young families to capitalise Working for Families payments to help bridge the deposit gap on a first home.
“And we need to be involving local government and businesses much more in new migrant settlement, ensuring there are jobs for them to go, before they come to New Zealand.
“These are positive and constructive steps – not Mr Little’s reactionary rhetoric designed to grab a vote,” Mr Dunne says.