NZ rejects immigrant health insurance Bill

A New Zealand healthcare Bill that would have led to Parent Visa applicants needing to take out private health insurance has been rejected by MPs.

The Bill, which was put forward by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, would have made it a requirement for all parent category immigrants (many of whom are aged over 60) to take out private health insurance for the first ten years of their stay in NZ.

“Our public health system is increasingly under pressure with growing debt, longer waiting lists and rationing of services,” Peters had said upon launching the Bill. There is no doubt health costs will escalate with a growing and ageing population.”

Critics of the Bill, which included the ruling National Party, called it nothing more than an “anti-immigration Bill.”

The Bill was defeated in parliament yesterday by a margin of 75 to 46, It was opposed by National, the Greens, ACT and United Future, although gained support from Labour and Maori First, in addition to NZ First.