PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 28 September 2021 -
Minister must seize opportunity to sort immigration crisis
National understands the Immigration Minister intends to make a long-overdue announcement this week about issues plaguing New Zealand’s immigration system after years of inaction and postponed promises, says National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford.
“Having consistently ducked for cover throughout the pandemic, it is imperative the Minister seizes this opportunity to finally address all the key issues that have landed our immigration system in crisis.
“In the past four years this Government has broken our immigration system and trashed our reputation as a destination of choice for highly skilled migrants.
“With a years-long backlog of applications, and a frozen expression of interest system for new residence applications, many thousands of valuable, skilled migrants have given up on life in New Zealand and opted for a more certain future overseas. This has further exacerbated labour shortages in some of our most critical industries.
“The Government has now backed itself into a corner after years of poor policy and poor planning in the immigration space. The Minister now has little choice but to adopt National’s policy to clear the residency backlog and to create a pathway to residence for those workers who stuck with us during the pandemic. Any policy the Minister announces must be effective in stopping the exodus of skilled people crucial to our health response and economic recovery.
Whether or not he picks up part or all of National’s policy, the Minister must: