The Government of New Zealand is reducing the number of new immigrants to the country. The governments has tightened its visa policies due to growing pressure of increasing number of new immigrants and working visa approvals, it has made various changes in the immigration system to reduce the new immigrants in the coming years.
The change in the policies involves in reducing the higher end planning range for new immigrants from 100,000 to 95,000 over the next two years. The number of points required to migrate to New Zealand under skilled migrant category have been raised from 140 to 160 points. Also under family category, the numbers of people allowed to enter the country have been reduced to 2000 from 5500. A temporary ban has been introduced under parent category, in which earlier any parents with adult children who have residence in New Zealand were allowed to apply.
According to Andrew Little, the labour leader, the change introduced by the government on immigration policies is a big U-turn, under pressure. He stated that, “they've certainly had a go at me and others for some time that we shouldn't be talking about immigration.Ever since the surge in immigration we've been saying that there are a growing number of issues and it became apparent this year that those issues were becoming acute”.
Winston Peters, the first leader of New Zealand views that the government has now actually taking care of their public sentiments. He further said that, “The National Party's panicking at the polls.Their polls are saying that this matter's serious, they've ignored it for years, it's a dog whistle.But they don't mean to take any action; still, 1900 a week will come into this country.”
But as per Michael Woodhouse, the Immigration Minister of New Zealand said that the tightening of immigration policies was a scheduled move and the government always wanted to review its immigration policies as per the requirement. He mentioned that, “well, there's very strong demand for residency places, over the last 10 years the government has set a planning range for the number of places available and we haven't really hit it.Last year it comfortably exceeded that range so we're going to have to take some steps to ensure that the quality of the skills we need still come in, but we can control the numbers”.
According to Mr. Andrew Little, the most important concern of the labours which has not been addressed was the impact of the increasing numbers of temporary work visas. He further stated that, “they've got to make sure that people coming in on those temporary visas are being lined up for jobs that cannot be supplied internally in New Zealand, and I think the problem we've seen is that the way they run the system, there's no check or oversight of that at all”.
But as per Woodhouse, the issue associated with temporary visas is different from the issue related to residency visas. He mentioned that temporary visas are not pressurising the cities like Auckland but are filling the skill shortages in the country. He added that, “those strongly growing areas - [visitors] like working holiday-makers aren't staying in Auckland. They are going out into the regions, where there are high levels of demand for labour”.
He also mentioned that government will consider temporary visa approvals also, if they are too high including work and working holiday visas,for which the decision is intended to be taken by the end of this year.
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