“15,000 New Zealanders have chosen to leave under Labour,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“15,000 New Zealanders have chosen to leave under Labour,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Provisional figures for October show New Zealand’s population has decreased by 4,100. With the gain in non-New Zealanders still not matching the exodus of New Zealand passport holders.

“For the 21st month in a row, more people left New Zealand than departed. There is a labour and inflation crisis because the Government shut New Zealand off from the world then didn’t know how to reconnect.

“Jacinda Ardern loves to say what a great job she did of managing COVID. She says she did a better job than other countries. She says we’re lucky to be in New Zealand. The numbers don’t lie though. In the last year, a net 15,000 New Zealanders decided they’re better off without Jacinda Ardern.

“The only good news is that next year those New Zealanders remaining in the country will have a chance to free themselves of Ardern’s policies, too.

“In the meantime, we face a crisis in labour and inflation, because it is too difficult to get people into New Zealand.

“Every hospital, orchard, factory and hospital in the country is desperate for people, but Immigration New Zealand is slow, the streets are lawless, and prices keep rising. As a result, we are losing the war for talent.

“Pre-COVID, net migration was 60,000 plus people each year, even reaching 80,000 in the year to March 2020. Post-COVID, New Zealand is losing 4,000-10,000 migrants a year. Instead of gaining people we’re losing them.

“If you’re wondering why hospitals are straining under the pressure, businesses are folding and prices are rising, that is the reason.

“Immigration is a make or break policy area for New Zealand. If the country does not have processes at least as good as those in major competitor countries like Australia and Canada, businesses will struggle to grow, social services will fail to deliver, and a spiral will take hold where it is even more difficult to attract and retain talent than in competitor countries.

”ACT’s vision is to have the best immigration policy in the world, bringing talented people to our shores with minimal rigmarole enabling New Zealand to solve all of its other problems.

“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

“These are the immediate changes needed in order to stem the outwards flow.

“Long-term we need a Government of real change to turn the decline around and make our country the preferred destination for ideas, talent and investment. ACT has laid out how we would do this in our Alternative Budget for Real Change.”

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