Immigration to New Zealand to remain high says minister

- Posted in New Zealand by Visa Bureauon 15 June 2009

The New Zealand Immigration Service Minister, Jonathan Coleman said the country was built on immigration and that immigration levels would need to be maintained in the recession, in contrast to other countries such as Australia reducing numbers.

"New Zealand was built on immigration and it is a very important part of our future," says Coleman. 

"Immigrants make a fantastic net contribution in financial terms to the economy,” Mr Coleman told Guyon Espiner on TVNZ’s Q + A programme.

Immigration is seen as a critical part of the National party’s economic strategy and Coleman says the country will not be able to grow the skills and capital needed to have a properly functioning economy from within the population.

Mentioning doctors and engineers among others, Coleman says New Zealand will always need to bring in skills from outside the country.

Coleman says immigration to New Zealand will be addressed through temporary work permits rather than reducing the numbers of permanent skilled immigrants who bring knowledge vital to the economy.

The minister said he was relaxed about where the immigrants come from provided they have the right skills.

"We want them to come and embrace being a New Zealander ... to be good citizens who are going to contribute to our society, adding to the overall picture of society."

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to New Zealand.