“Today’s announcement that more health professionals have been added to the Green List is far too late, New Zealand is losing the global war on talent because Labour is so far behind the rest of the world,” says ACT’s Immigration spokesperson James McDowall.

“This is governing in slow motion. The health sector is in disarray and experiencing shortages in every profession, all of these professions should have been added to the list months ago.

“The Government has been carrying out a dangerous experiment where they’ve tried to increase wages by strangling the labour market. They’ve crippled the health system and brought the country to a stand still.

“Ministers have been full of excuses for not freeing up immigration pathways, “if we give nurses residency, they’ll just leave” said Immigration Minister Michael Wood last year. Andrew Little said Immigration NZ officials simply got confused about what jobs came under ‘specialist physician’.

“While Labour was making excuses, ACT was calling for midwives and nurses to be placed on the Green List, the Government didn’t listen and vacancies increased. ACT revealed a Ministerial Briefing which showed that Health Minister at the time Andrew Little was fully aware of the shortages across the health sector yet continued to ignore immigration settings.

“ACT has a package of solutions that will lead to a better quality of life for migrant, business owners and all New Zealanders.”

ACT would:

  • Ensure all major immigration policy decisions will be subject to a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), to make sure the benefits of a policy outweigh the costs.
  • Get rid of the complicated and burdensome system for temporary work visas and replace it with demand-based pricing, to let employers decide if their need is worth the price instead of clunky bureaucracy
  • Ensure the Skilled Migrant Category offers an efficient and predictable pathway for migrants of all skill levels and occupations, to remove confusing and unfairness
  • End the political deadlock and introduce a sustainable solution for parent visas, so that talented people can make a home in New Zealand without leaving their parents behind so long as there is no extra cost to the taxpayer
  • Tackle the sources of Immigration New Zealand’s slow processing times to remove uncertainty and frustration for people who want to bring their skills to New Zealand.

“New Zealand is in serious trouble if immigration policy keeps having to rely on Labour Ministers to wake up to serious problems much too late.”

Press Contact

[email protected]