A growing economy needs a positive population

By: Clayton Mitchell

Clayton Mitchell
New Zealand First MP

New Zealand has become one of the most sought-after countries in the world for immigrants. Is it because of our small population? Our stunning outdoor environment? Our non-corrupt, egalitarian political system? Or is it something else?

Whatever the reasons people choose to move here, it is a fact that during the previous administration New Zealand experienced the highest-ever levels of immigration and it has come at a cost to our nation’s wellbeing and quality of life.

Back here, the National Government allowed net migration to peak at 73,000, straining essential infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, roads, and housing. They underinvested in everything but motorways.

The Coalition Government is working to address these issues, which affect most New Zealanders either directly or indirectly. We are tackling immigration and investing in infrastructure. The latest figures from Stats NZ show net migration has dropped to 50,200 - a 30 per cent reduction from the peak, and it’s still trending downwards.

We are still some way from reaching our intended goal on immigration numbers and foreign property speculation, but we are on the right trajectory.

To ensure we have a positive and growing economy, New Zealand First understands we need to have positive population growth and a skilled and educated workforce. To that end, we believe we need to attract people with talent and skills who can add value to our economy and help grow wealth and create opportunities for Kiwis.

It’s about the people we need, not about the people who need us.