NZ Labour sinks into immigration lies

By Leith van Onselen

In the lead-up to last year’s September general election, New Zealand Labour Party launched a plan to reduce immigration by around a third in a bid to relieve chronic housing and infrastructure pressures (especially around Auckland):

Last weekend, the Labour-led Government announced that it would triple the amount of time that ‘no-strings attached’ degree-level student visas can work in New Zealand before transferring to permanent residency.’s David Hargreaves argued that these changes would leave the door “wide open for people coming to New Zealand ostensibly for study to then seek to stay permanently” and “could INCREASE the number of immigrants” coming to New Zealand.

Over the weekend, David Hargreaves provided evidence showing that work visas have driven most of the immigration increase and has demanded that the Labour Government set an explicit immigration/population target:

The Labour Party has swiftly moved in the past year from a policy of tackling migration head-on to what looks suspiciously like a wait-and-see policy.

…the giving of a free-pass now to people taking degree-level courses could in time actually increase the number of people coming in with student visas…

The below gives the full picture of arrivals for the year to March 2018, with comparable figures again going back to 2012.

It’s a lot isn’t it? The overall total coming in has increased 55% in the past six years.

It’s worth highlighting some things in there.

Note the NZ/Aus citizens numbers. They’ve increased nearly 48%. That’s worth bearing in mind because there’s nothing that can be done about those numbers…

Next point of very big note is the student numbers, which are now starting to decline…

But then there is the whole issue of work visas – and that is the biggie. As can be seen the annual figures to March show that the numbers issued work visas have roughly doubled in the past six years and you’ve now got round about the population of say Nelson city coming into the country to work every 12 months…

These figures as presented here would suggest there’s still a massive issue around issuing of work visas – IE far too many.

Really you can’t just look at the overall migration total, you have to look at the moving parts within that total. What those individual parts tell you is that we don’t appear to have our migration settings anything near right.

Where are the policies?

We are still depending on the kind of ‘natural’ changes in the flows for the figures to effectively ‘come right’ of their own volition.

The point is though that with the numbers of work visas still very high, it would only take another upsurge in student numbers – as might happen under the new degree-friendly Labour policy highlighted at the beginning of this article – to see the total migration numbers start to rise again.

Where are the targets? It’s high time that this country actually had proper targets. Ask the question: Do we want an increase in the total population numbers? I think the answer for a lot of readers is NO.

We should therefore as a country be targeting migration numbers directly in terms of how many people we think can properly be housed and afforded in this country. And if there’s too many migrants coming in, cut the numbers.

This government, contrary to what it said it would do in Opposition, is doing the same as the previous Government – leaving it to chance.

It’s well past time for some serious thinking and some proper policies, people.

No matter which way Labour tries to spin this, it has broken a core election commitment to cut immigration.

Instead, it appears intent on boosting the migrant intake even further above already insane levels, in the process worsening already chronic problems with housing and infrastructure.

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern needs to be held to account on this issue.

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Leith van Onselen


  1. Breaking news!!!
    Politician lies, and puts interests of donors above the general populace.

    • But I like the diversity of having her in charge. Her policies and integrity aren’t relevant.

    • Breaking News

      Bill Shorten and the ALP will copy the NZ model.

      Where are the usual rusted on ALP supporters on this site……EP where are you ? No not Elvis !

  2. Winston Peters the big disappointment. Deputy PM must be a pretty good gig.

    Another step closer to pitchforks.

    • Prepare to have your pitchfork rendered useless as you are encased in foam by a low flying ‘public order’ drone. Your foam block will then be removed by robot soldier and taken to re-education so you can see the error of your former dearly held beliefs as a large boot deceptively labelled ‘your democratically elected government’ stamps down on your face for all eternity. Assuming the AI bots hadn’t already scanned MB and determined you a subversive element, meaning you were tasered for ‘pre-crime’ before you even made it to your garage. Haha.

  3. Sadly, Jacinda is turning out to be more like Obama than Trump! She does a good speech; is quick with a considered reply and good at ‘public relations’ but actually following through on what she was elected on? Nope, or very little anyway.
    Ah well….at least it’s better than 3 years with Sir Bill, which is better than any years with Simple Simon….

    • True. I was going to say she must have gone to the Turnball school of politics…. lets see if she can disappoint and sink as much as him … or Obama.

    • She is Obama, or Macron I guess. Placed in by globo-pedo alliance.

      Same MO, comes out of nowhere, family connections, weird sex life, looks really good but does not pass sniff test, not least because both Clinton and Obama have made trips to NZ, and last I checked, she was still giving money to the Clinton Global Slush fund – money from normal NZ taxpayers.

      I’d be on the lookout for Satanic stuff happening nearby. Please protect your children. Feel free to think I am nuts, you’d be surprised how on the money crazy people can be.

    • He has said nothing about immigration – they have no desire to change the ponzi pump….

    • My understanding is that Bill is very much a Big Australia proponent. Expect obfuscation and calls of racist.

      Mind you Bill seems to be trying as hard as he can to lose, even with the Lib’s abysmal performance.

  4. kiwikarynMEMBER

    “Prime Minister Jacinda Adern needs to be held to account on this issue”
    Nah, she’s too busy adding to the over population problem herself.

  5. I knew it within 3 months of her becoming PM.

    I said “she is turning out to be a Gillard thus far” and “Theresa May is the hero”.

    Winston Peters is an utter disgrace too. He had one task – cut immigration – where is the cut?

    It is a miracle that Japan is allowed to have a shrinking population.

    Since 7th May, I have said that Sally McManus does indeed have a compact with Angus Willox: the ACTU logo is still on his website!

    my 7th May comment:

    • kiwikarynMEMBER

      “Winston Peters is an utter disgrace too. He had one task – cut immigration – where is the cut?”
      Wrong question. Its more a case of “Where is Winston???” I think Jacinda sent him overseas, lured by promises of first class hotels and flights, and he hasnt been seen for 9 months. I hope she won’t have him offed after she returns from mat leave, but I have my suspicions ….

  6. None of them have the balls to say no to Treasury.
    The advice they are probably getting is that more migration is required to mitigate the effect of preventing foreign buyers buying existing homes.
    All roads lead to the sick ideology which has permeated Treasuries and the narrow views of those inside.

    • I think you actually have that backwards, the governments have been busy putting senior staff on short term “performance based” contracts and cutting budgets to the bone in an attempt to get the advice they desire from treasury.

    • DominicMEMBER

      Don’t worry. A crushing recession will sort this out. The bigger the bubble, the more damage will be wrought when it ends. Recent immigrants will be high-tailing it back to sub-continent and Asia to avoid their huge debts.

      • Let me fix this for you.

        Recent immigrants will be high-tailing it to Australia……fixed.

  7. – Seems like Ardern has been “cornered” by the vested interests. A pity, a REAL pity for us “common folks”.