05 September 2008
NZ National Party's plan to turn around immigration trends
The National Party has released a strategy to coax back young New Zealanders who have moved abroad, reports Stuff.co.nz.
National Party spokesman Lockwood Smith told reporters the Government needs to focus on stemming the outflow of migrants, encourage overseas New Zealanders to return home with their learned and developed skills, and then recruit foreign skilled workers to move to New Zealand.
"Creating the opportunities here in New Zealand to stem that debilitating loss will be a priority for the next National government," he said.
"Those opportunities must also attract back to New Zealand those Kiwis who have been developing their skills abroad, as well as other skilled people."
Their strategy would include a "one-stop-shop approach" to help and encourage New Zealanders to return, reduce barriers to recruiting overseas workers, introduce a Silver Fern Visa that allows potential migrants to temporarily stay in the country so they can find permanent work in areas of skills shortages, ensure tax policies and infrastructure will benefit the return of emigrants, and adjust investment capital and English language requirements for immigrants on a New Zealand business visa.
Immigration Minister Clayton Cosgrove said the National Party’s plans for policy restructuring are vague and out-of-touch.
Brendon Gardner from the Labour Department told reporters the need for immigration in New Zealand is becoming increasingly important because younger skilled workers are moving to places such as Britain and leaving an increasing gap in the workforce.
"It's important to make the most of people coming here and who do want to be here," he said. "New Zealand is already competing with Australia advertising mining jobs in the paper."
New Zealand is suffering in the engineering, health, hospitality, and transport sectors, and needs overseas workers to migrate to the country to ease the shortages.
The Manager of the Business Development Centre Sandra Perry said the ageing population and skills shortage is a world-wide problem, but what New Zealand is offering is a better, greener, and healthier lifestyle.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.
Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.