“The Prime Minister’s insistence that Immigration New Zealand bid for more money to deter boat people is one of the best calls this Government has made”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.
“Newstalk ZB is reporting that INZ tripled its 2019 Budget bid for funding to prevent 'maritime mass arrivals' after a strong steer from the Beehive.
“Given New Zealand’s relative peace and security, and Australia’s tough line on illegal immigrants, people smugglers will look to us as a soft touch, and we can't free-ride on our neighbour's efforts.
“Boosting funding to fight people smugglers and stop desperate migrants from drowning themselves is a great move from this Government.
“At the same time, though, the Government also needs to increase funding to improve the processes by which skilled migrants and their families come here legally.
“Francie Perry, a constituent in Epsom, has grown strawberries for 40 years and employs 1200 Kiwis. Her business needs overseas workers, but the immigration bureaucracy has blocked her from bringing people into the country, even though this could put her out of business. This disconnect between business and bureaucracy is killing off the entrepreneurial spirit our country depends upon.
“Yet another issue is that highly skilled migrants are desperate to bring their parents here with them, but the Parent Category moratorium is keeping families apart. This means fewer skilled people will decide to come to New Zealand and the economy will suffer.
“A functioning immigration system that welcomes skilled migrants is critical for a high-performing economy and the Government needs to ensure it is working as it should.”