“Testimony by David Barker at Parliament’s Education and Workforce Committee gave compelling reasons why the Government must act to lift the moratorium on the Parent Category, and do it sooner rather than later”, says Epsom MP David Seymour.

“It is not good enough to simply wait 18 months for the Government’s timetable. As Mr Barker says, 18 months is a long time when you’re 84 years old.

“As the MP for Epsom, I have seen a large number of families separated by the suspension of the Parent Category. These are good people making a contribution to New Zealand who just want to be a family.

“After the Christchurch tragedy, the Government very compassionately created a new immigration category for the families of victims. That was the right thing to do, but it raises the question: why not help the thousands of families divided by the suspension of the Parent Category?

“Mr Barker was very clear that parents wishing to migrate to New Zealand do not wish to use any public funds. They are prepared to pay their way to be with their families. As Mr Barker said, the risk is skilled migrants will not choose New Zealand if the price is being separated from their families.”