More tinkering, no leadership from Nats on immigration – Andrew Little

By   /   April 19, 2017  /   6 Comments

National’s latest tinkering with the immigration system is another attempt to create the appearance of action without actually doing anything meaningful, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.
“New Zealand is richer for immigration, but our public services, housing, and infrastructure can’t keep up with the current record level of immigration. We need to take a breather and catch up. We need to fix the immigration system to reduce the number of low-skill migrants coming into the country, while still bringing in the skilled workers we need.

“National’s latest tinkering will not deliver that.

“National’s changes don’t address the huge numbers of people coming here to do low level qualifications or low skill work, then using those visas as a stepping-stone to residency. National’s announcement won’t change the fact we are issuing over 6,000 work visas for labourers a year when we have thousands of unemployed labourers in this country already.

“New Zealand does need skilled migrants to help our economy grow and contribute to fixing the housing crisis. National’s move to make it harder to bring in people to fill jobs in areas of absolute skills shortages and in future growth areas is bizarre.

“This is a typical Bill English move. No vision. No leadership. No fix for the problem.

“Immigration should be a win-win, giving migrants a better life and strengthening the economy. National has managed to make it a lose-lose: A housing shortage, clogged roads, and depressed wages.

“New Zealand needs a fresh approach to immigration. Labour’s immigration policy will reduce overall numbers, stop the rorts that allow low-skill people to get residency, make it easier to get the skilled workers we need, and invest in training our own people to do the work our economy needs,” says Andrew Little.

Want to support this work? Donate today
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook


  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    Yes Andrew, – “National is a bunch of tinkerers”


    We on the East Coast (Gisborne) see National as a bunch of tinkerers clearly as we in Gisborne (a National seat) are all so disenchanted with the way National has undermined this community.

    Just the latest callous episode they showed by taking away the railway that Mickey Savage (Labour) built in 1937-42 for this community then.

    Now National have given it to a Auckland entrepreneur to run bikes on it,!!!! while our roads become crowded with dangerous trucks and will kill many.

    If you want to take this seat back from National?

    Please publically state to the country and National that on becoming Government you will take the rail back and run it for freight and passengers as Labour built it for.

    You will get Gisborne back again.


    To, The Editor Gisborne Herald,

    Re Railbikes “Best fit for Gisborne”.

    David Gordon and KiwiRail must be deluded if they believe the headline in Saturdays Gisborne Herald.
    They are FULLY aware of the communities desire for the return of rail to Gisborne and have stonewalled ALL efforts by both the Gisborne Rail Co-op and previously, the Napier-Gisborne Rail Consortium. WHY.?

    They were invited to the Tairawhiti Rail Forum in November 2016 but chose not to attend and were written a letter in December by the Gisborne Rail Co-op to open a dialogue but to this date, this letter has not been acknowledged, let alone replied to.!

    New Zealand lives and dies by exporting and to deny one of this countries key horticultural and forestry areas of a rail service (which Gisborne Rail Co-op wished to provide at NO COST to KiwiRail) for export produce because railbikes are a better fit, is, in this writers opinion, tantamount to treason.!!

    Gisborne Rail Co-ops Expression of Interest was for a Freight and Tourism operation, surely a MUCH better fit for Gisborne than restricting the rail line to solely tourist ventures. The WHOLE community would benefit, not just a single tourism operator.

    It must be remembered that the recent Gisborne Herald Poll re Railbikes, for which there were over 700 respondents, showed over 55 percent did not support KiwiRails decision re railbikes getting exclusive use of the line between Gisborne and Wairoa (Wa165 excepted).

    For KiwiRail to ignore this and try and fob us off with spin shows they have no real interest in doing anything tangible for this community now or in the future.

    Stuart Dow
    Railwayman and GRC Member.

    • JM Clarke says:

      There is a rail solution that will benefit freight, tourism and rail-bikes to and from Gisborne – in the spirit of Kiwi ingenuity and number-8 wire thinking:
      ” ‘run-when-full’ trains”
      “limit trains to 30kph when rail-bikes are present on tracks”
      “provide rail-bike passing lane tracks”

      Allowing freight and tourism trains to “run when full”, will be a win-win for the Aucklander wanting to run rail-bikes, to re-classify rail-bikes as ‘an adventure holiday’. It will also prevent wear and tear on tracks and bridges when trains run slower.

      Fill trains up with logs, which do not perish, then wait for crops to be ready then transport asap, ‘run-when-full’.

      If trains were also limited to 30 kph, it would give tourists on rail-bikes and up close and personal look at the front of a train when going in the same direction, and would allow trains to assist rail-bikes on some of the steep bits. Rail-bikes could be fitted with an app that tells the rail-bikers when a train is approaching from behind or the opposite direction. Trains could also have a similar app for rail-biker avoidance.

      There would need to be some places with two tracks running side by side as passing lanes, so that rail-bikes could get out of the way if the train is coming from the opposite direction though. It could be a win-win for Gisborne.

      Worth a thought though, because rail-trails per se are a stupid idea, apart from giving the illusion of investing in the regions. Maybe Simon Bridges can run with the Gisborne ‘run-when-full’ train solution for Gisborne in the lead-up to September’s election.

      What is needed, is innovative thinking, which is the realm of the politicians after all is said and done.

  2. XRAY says:

    Yep, nearly 9 years of facades and stage shows.

    Tinkering that just might appease their poll Gods but in reality designed to change nothing.

    We must have a government that makes decisions based on what is good for all New Zealanders and not the survival of the National Party.

  3. Castro says:

    Immigration, if you can call it that, being at neo-colonial levels, is exacerbating inequality and is going to see this country tear itself apart if continued. Perhaps Labour could call for a five-year moratorium on immigration while undesirables are rounded up and deported and a sane, sustainable immigration policy is formulated. I won’t hold my breath, particularly given that foreigners (residents – yes, residents are foreigners) can vote in “our” elections; this is sheer madness and is not going to end well for anyone in the long run.

  4. Kim dandy says:

    Yes we do ‘see’ their tinkering Andrew. That’s all they’ve done for the past 3 terms. Very over it. Offer us something new and so much better! …and give NZ back its trains please!

  5. David See-More says:

    What is needed is more crowd-funding of rail and similar government departments.

    Kiwis wanted the Awaroa beach back and crowd-funding did it.
    Maori want their Hokianga island back and crowd-funding will do it.

    If Gisborne wants its rail back, crowd-fund it. Consumers and taxpayers should not be subsidising an uneconomic rail-link. If crowd-funders can fund it, then it will relieve consumers and taxpayers not associated with Gisborne’s hard-earned tax contributions to government.

    With new legislation in place to close uneconomic or underperforming schools, similar to Kiwirail mothballing Gisborne’s railway, if parents want to keep their local school open, they will have the option of crowd-funding their school. They also have the option to apply for a Charter School.

    Yellow is the new Blue – vote ACT in September.