“The government’s immigration announcement today should have happened six months ago, not as a result of poor poll results,” says ACT’s Immigration spokesperson James McDowall.

“This is governing in slow motion. We are desperately short of nurses, bus services have stopped running and we don’t have enough teachers. These should have all been green lit months ago.

“Instead, 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 bring the country to a stand still.

“Today’s announcement shows Wood has been fudging excuses for months. ‘If we give nurses residency, they’ll just leave,’ he said. Wood’s obviously not worried about nurses with residency leaving now the policy is his, so he’s been fluffing forever.

“Ardern told media today “let’s get in front of things.” The reality is she’s so far behind the rest of the world we’re being lapped.

“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.

• 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.

“New Zealand’s labour market is far too small to build world-beating companies without easy access to offshore skills, so immigration must make it easy for business to access skilled people. This is a start, but the government needs to go further.”

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James McDowall