14 August 2007
New Zealand immigration won't be cut says finance minister
New Zealand's finance minister has rejected a call to limit New Zealand immigration, saying meeting the shortage of skilled workers is more important than controlling inflation, reports Bloomberg. This is reassuring news for Britons considering applying for a New Zealand visa.
The central bank had proposed curbing immigration to counter inflation and rising interest rates. New Zealand's soaring housing market is a major cause of inflation and has been partly fuelled by demand for housing from skilled migrants.
Michael Cullen, the Labour government's finance minister since 1999, was quite clear in stating this approach would not work as he responded to questions in parliament on the issue.
"When the economy is going through a strong growth phase, there is also very often a shortage of labour and shortage of skills. If migration was cut off at that point, which is effectively what the Reserve Bank is arguing, that would lead to stronger wage pressures and the bank would then be concerned about inflation," Mr Cullen told Bloomberg.
New Zealand needs skilled workers: anyone interested in New Zealand immigration should complete the New Zealand Visa Bureau's online New Zealand visa assessment to see if they qualify for a New Zealand visa.