New Zealand Government backtracks on immigration changes

The New Zealand Government has confirmed that it is to review proposed changes to the country’s immigration programme.

In April, the New Zealand Government introduced a raft of new immigration rules that were due to come into effect later this month. Among these new rules were conditions for people to earn at least NZ$48,859 a year to qualify as high-skilled migrants. Those earning less than this amount would only qualify for a temporary visa and would be forced to leave the country for a ‘sizable time’ before being allowed to re-enter.

However, after coming under pressure from, among others, farmers and fruit growers, who depend on low-skill migrants to fill job positions, the New Zealand Government has revealed it will review the changes.

“We put out a proposal that was based on making sure that Kiwis get the jobs when they should, that we get a better balance of skills coming in,” NZ Prime Minister Bill English told NZ’s Morning Report programme. “We’ve had some feedback from people who are in an economy that is creating 10,000 jobs a month and they were telling us that some of those parameters are a bit tight.”

The Prime Minister said that decisions would be taken regarding the program’s future in the next couple of weeks.

Immigration continues to hit fresh highs. The number of people arriving to live in NZ reached a new record in June, totalling 72,305 in the year to 30th June.

Annual net migration has been steadily increasing since late 2012.

Article published 24th July 2017