"Businesses can’t access the staff they need to succeed in New Zealand because the immigration tap has been turned off. ACT hears ya, we have a plan for real change in immigration,” says ACT’s Immigration spokesperson Dr James McDowall.

“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.

“In past years the regions would be filled with foreigners working through the summer right now, instead Kiwi business owners are working like crazy to keep the lights on.

ACT’s plan:

• 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.

• We will 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

“The current set of rules and regulations are overly complex, perhaps due to being made without proper policy oversight, so immigration rules must be streamlined to enable employers to get the people and skills they need.”

“We must do better for New Zealand and that starts with good law making.

“Employers have been through enough under the Labour government, with lockdowns, more bureaucracy, and increased costs. It’s time we made it easier to do business in New Zealand, increased productivity and give the people who put it all on the line a break. We hear ya.”

More from

James McDowall