NZ needs more skilled migrants to maintain growth: expert

New Zealand may be undergoing a period of record immigration, but that hasn’t stopped the chair of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI) from stating that the country needs more skilled migrants and investment to maintain its economic growth and standard of living.

Responding to a call in the media by New Zealand First MP Winston Peters for permanent residence to be cut to 7,000-15,000 people maximum, June Ranson, the head of New Zealand’s leading professional association for immigration specialists, was adamant such measures would be highly foolish.

“The birth rate in NZ is dropping, baby boomers are retiring and for these reasons it is essential for us to have skilled migrants coming to NZ if we want to maintain our standard economic growth and continue with our standard of living, for example, medical and superannuation,” Ranson said.

She also explained that NZ also has the situation that many small to medium-sized companies owned and operated by the “baby boomers” have no succession plans.

“Do we want these companies to close down and put their staff out of work, simply because there is no one with the skills and knowledge in NZ to take them over?”

She also said that New Zealand is currently going through growing pains as a result of a growth period. This, she says, is a good thing. The alternative being no growth at all.

“Infrastructure has been neglected for years by successive Governments and now at long last we are seeing movement happening to improve the infrastructure and this can be seen in any part of the country as you drive through. Oddly, the very people who are demanding the skilled migrant numbers be cut are the same people who want refugee numbers increased.”

Ms Ranson also pointed out that the current Government has already cancelled the Adult Child and Sibling Policy which allowed sibling skilled or unskilled to join their families.

“Importantly, Immigration NZ does have a very tight check on who comes to NZ under permanent residence.”

Article by David Fuller