Liar Ardern breaks key election promise to cut immigration

By Leith van Onselen

In the lead-up to last year’s September general election, the 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):

…in recent years our population has been growing rapidly as record numbers of migrants arrive here. This has happened without the Government planning for the impact immigration is having on our country… This has contributed to the housing crisis, put pressure on hospitals and schools, and added to the congestion on roads…

Labour will… take a breather on immigration… In total, these changes are estimated to reduce net migration by 20,000-30,000. Without these changes there would be up to 10,000 more houses needed and up to 20,000 more vehicles on our roads annually.

Back in June, 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.

Separately, David Hargreaves provided evidence showing that work visas have driven most of the immigration increase, doubling over the past six years:

On Tuesday, reported that the Labour Government is no closer to cutting immigration, and has instead launched a ‘smoke and mirrors’ inquiry into rorting of the temporary migration program:

The Government is sticking to its word and making moves to prevent migrant workers from being exploited.

However it isn’t any closer to reducing annual net migration by 20,000 to 30,000 people a year, as it estimated it would before the 2017 election.

The Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has directed the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to set up a working group to research temporary migrant worker exploitation.

“Migrant exploitation takes many forms, including workers not getting paid properly, working excessive hours or in unsafe conditions,” he says.

“Crucially, far too many migrant workers do not feel empowered to speak up or seek help when they are being subjected to unfair conditions.”

The review will be done with Auckland UniServices and will see migrants, businesses, workers, academics and international students consulted with.

Lees-Galloway says the research will take some time to complete, so he’ll only make decisions on it in 2019.

Such a review was already completed two years ago by Auckland University, entitled “Worker Exploitation in New Zealand: A Troubling Landscape”. At the time, Iain Lees-Galloway scolded the National Government for ignoring the issue:

“…exploitation of migrant workers is pervasive in New Zealand… migrant workers continue to report high levels of abuse, intimidation, underpayment, debt bondage, and a host of other exploitative employment practices… it is the same industries—dairy farming, fishing, hospitality, horticulture, construction, and international education—that keep coming up as the most exploitative… migrant exploitation has a chilling effect on wages and conditions for all workers in those sectors… too many employers rely on exploiting migrant workers so that they can avoid paying decent wages and meeting basic employment standards”…

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

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

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Leith van Onselen
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    • True, but clearly the writers of the blog need a few more examples of this before they can see the pattern emerging.

      Article heading from 2020:
      Liar Labor breaks key election promise and fail to deliver NG reform

      • Strange Economics -MEMBER

        Yes, coming soon to the Sun Herald”

        “Labour backflip over negative gearing. In the face of a catastrophic 10 % house price drop, it was time to act.
        After 1 million baby boomers voted against cheaper housing for other peoples children. Josh Kratow, of Bentleigh said – “If house prices go down how will I be able to buy my children 1 million dollar houses, which I will negative gear until they reach 21.. Why they’d have to rent like other gig economy workers. Lower prices is less affordability for us”

  1. Worse, it was a core NZ First policy as well, and probably the only reason Winston is sitting where he is. So shame on both of them.

    • I think the problem lies with blokes named Winston. No good will ever come of electing someone named Winston.

    • Winston Peters is a serial BS artist. He gets all stern and stroppy when in opposition and the moment he has a Government 7-series he promptly ignores everything he said he’d do. He’s a fraud…

  2. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Wasn’t Winston Peters support of her Prime ministership conditional on her commitment to reducing immigrant numbers?

    What has he had to say on the matter?

    • Probably, what vintage is this one as he eases back into the government VIP jet en route to Europe, China or the US.

  3. The consequences of cutting immigration are dire! Pollies might shoot their mouth off about it but they get into governemt and some bloke in Treasury somewhere gives them the facts. Substantial cuts to immigration are going to cause massive dislocation of the economy.
    Of course not cutting immigration is a damned side more economically damaging but that will probably happen after they have retired on their fantastic Super and allowances. So why should they give a RA?

  4. Why is it such a hard thing to do, this cutting immigration, that all mainstream Anglosphere political parties fail to do, or even contemplate?

    Is it pressure from local big business, the migrant vote, or is there genuinely a globalist conspiracy to keep borders open? I used to think this was far fetched, but perhaps I was wrong.

    • Probably no grand conspiracy, but a multitude of vested interests that all want to keep it going for their own reasons, combined with the likely recession and associated negative effects that would happen if they go cold turkey and put a stop to it.

    • Its coming from the banks
      immigration stops
      they go arse up, probably in less than 3 months
      Now how about this
      the banks are going arse up anyhow, as the govt squeezes the labour market.
      $15 /hr is not enough to repay a mortgage

      • Yeah, but below award wages makes business much more profitable, and high rise harry needs an influx to keep things going, so plenty of other reasons not to stop immigration.

      • strange economicsMEMBER

        But good enough when there are 6 workers in bunk beds in a 2 bed city apartment. 50% of their income in rent is 1200 a week rent.

        If you only had 2 salary people it would only be 600 – at 300 a week each max.
        The only reason city rents are high and small 2 bedroom apartment prices over 1 million in central sydney, and over 700k in Melbourne…

    • It is utterly bizarre. Right wing pricks and left wing pricks say the same thing: “people in 3rd world slums get paid less than you”. (so have megaslums in Sydney too?)

      I am not sure if the Commissioner of Canada Elections adequately funds the political parties but the loony left is truly loony – they think as long as people in Africa have a worse life, we should keep the immigration floodgates open.

      Jessica Irvine said, and I paraphrase, “I care about immigrants instead of Aussies”!

      The propaganda machine is pretending that all foreign students get a PhD!

      Rahul moved from Kolkata to Loughborough University eight years ago on a scholarship to do a PhD in optical metrology.

      people like Rahul are less likely to be able to remain in the UK now

      Utter garbage. He is an exceptional student and exceptional students will always be welcome.

      • If you genuinely put global concerns above your own self interest you would want people like Rahul to stay in his own country where he could help raise the standard of living there, rather than perpetuate a brain drain from the developing to the developed world.

        The detail of Indian immigration to Australia is that very few skills that we do have genuine shortage of e.g. in engineering trades ( mechanics etc), are able to migrate as few have enough basic English and numeracy skills to get through the door. OTOH there is an oversupply of doctors, IT professionals, professional engineers migrating who easily pass the qualifying tests. So we are basically stripping them of their best and brightest, well educated elite, with no regard for the skills we need ourselves.

        Don’t understand how the bleeding hearts see that as morally justified.

    • roamingmilltothial

      Groups of people who have mutually beneficial interests don’t necessarily need to conspire, it’s not necessarily a top down ontology. In fact groups that benefit love ‘conspiracy theories’ because they are simple to dismiss and deride and take the focus off the issue.

    • That’s because the whole Anglosphere has the same neoliberal cancer.

      “The market knows best.”

      And the market demands MOAR workers to drive down wages and increase sweet, sweet profits.

      Same reason the requirements for work visas are so loose. Tightening them would be Big Government(tm) interference.

      No conspiracy is needed here.

    • Gillard lied on TV about not wanting a big AUS before the 2010 election and Jacinda basically copied her.

      I think I warned that Jacinda could turn out to be the next Gillard and that is exactly what happened.

      What a complete nightmare.

      • greedypuppyMEMBER

        Ardern aint a Gillard. She’s already under the gun from the NZ media for wrecking the economy and everything else. Her government remains very popular largely because she doesn’t tend to shirk or say the exact opposite of what she believes in. The government has been in power for less than 12 months. I doubt they will run an open immigration policy -the y have already legislated against foreign ownership. Bit by Bit.

  5. Jacinda Ardern, from the Left of politics, like her elected predecessor, John Key ( sorry, Sir John Key), from the Right, had sensible, understandable, electable policies that she campaigned and was elected on.
    Subsequent to her ascension, like Key, she would have been marched out to the central baker woodshed and had the frighteners put on her. “This, lady, is what your economy will look like if you do any of what you promised to do. ( hold up picture of Aleppo). Off you go, and keep following the script….or else’.
    Nothing else explains why either she or Winton Peter’s have done such a volte-face.
    Only Donald Trump can/could get away with bucking the establishment, and look how he’s being fought at every turn…..

    • Right, the economists and central bankers are the modern day priests of our time and the politicians had best listen to them or else a storm of epic proportions will descend on their heads.

    • How about that the pollies are all smart enough to know what BS the electorate wants to hear, while also knowing on what side their bread is buttered.
      PS didn’t trump cut taxes for the wealthy? Hardly bucking the establishment.

      • I think Theresa May and Trump cut immigration hard – thereby cutting the unemployment rate hard. Yes, Trump cut corporate taxes but what good is high corporate taxes when you have no job due to mass immigration?

        The “innocent” immigrants enter USA/UK/AUS to work for illegal wages and therefore replace Aussie/American/British workers. That is the entire point of mass immigration.

    • Right this is what we are going to do to you if you don’t toe the line.

      *eats sourdough roll*

      BTW I’ve been in the central baker woodshed, they’ve got more dough than they knead.

    • Janet – I respect you, but I totally disagree, she is Blairite acolyte! She is doing exactly what she said she would… you should have seen Blair with Brexit. He firm believes in the collective Utopia ideal than “bigoted” nationalism.

      The problem is self conformational bias. You (and contributors to this site) want to hear things, and grab them as truths and in this case future policies. A very, very human characteristic. However, I maintain that the current PM was very clear in what she believed in, and at no point disavow what Keys ideas were (at no time!!!!). You just didn’t want to hear it.

  6. John Key was worse. No one has investigated how it is that his house, which was worth about $6m was sold for $22m to a Chinese “businessman”. What favours were done in return for that…

    Our politicians are corrupt; plain and simple.

  7. DefinitelyNotTheHorribleScottMorrisonPM

    30,000?! Pah! How do they expect to generate demand, jobs and growth with such paltry immigration numbers. She should be dramatically INCREASING the intake to prove she isn’t racist. We also need to check her Spotify playlist to make sure it contains the requisite proportion of Maori and Chinese music.

  8. That is another good lesson from our politicians – if people persist in voting Lib/Lab/Green then expect mass migration/population replacement program to continue without any limit being placed, other than via an economic collapse at some unforeseen time in the future when Australia is way beyond rescue.

    Vote One Nation ahead of the Lib/Lab/Greens otherwise you are voting for the population replacement BigOz program. It can not get any clearer.

    • Clearly a lot of people are surprised. And despite numerous evidence to the contrary continue to believe that next election it’ll be different.

  9. Winston Peters in NZ shows the danger of expecting a ‘political party / elected solution’ in fixing the third world migrant guestworker influx that deteriorate of our society in wages, housing & living standards etc.

    That’s why it needs a Royal Commission.
    In NZ, and also here.
    To elevate the issue above any political party spin, their lies and their failure to act.

    Now the NZ SCV migrant intake issue is only a fraction of our overall migrant intake issue.

    It is 230,000 unskilled third world migrants (of 2.2 million unskilled migrant TR) or only 11%.
    But what is happening in New Zealand should be of deep concern to every Australian.

    New Zealand has acted for years as the back door / transit zone for third world unskilled migrants that can’t even get into Australia.

    We are talking absolute bottom layer Chinese exited by their government as slum clearance, the Chinese, North and South Asian criminal class (Pacific islands passports & fake identities) , the very bottom layer of Indians also slum clearance or rural poor, the Africans. Brazilians, Eurotrash etc.

    As in Australia, they are not ‘exploited’ but willing participants in visa fraud, visa pretext, working & illegally, packaged up & organized by the foreign syndicates and agent procurers before they arrive in NZ as the back door entry into Australia.

    They are not ‘exploited’.

    The third world unskilled migrant intake line up in long queues for a chance to enter Australia or via the NZ back door, routinely paying large bribes, in loan debt, knowing they will be working in vice or illegally BEFORE they leave.

    The money they earn when in Australia or NZ as a ‘foreign student’ or ‘partner’ or visitor’

    Pay back the foreign criminal syndicates & agents.
    And they are agressively packaged up their Chinese, Indian, Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Malaysian, Thailan, Indonesian, Korean, Taiwanese, Brazilian, African governments in papers, documents, fake health checks etc – eager to export their misfits & undesirables into a western economy for that money flow & remittances back.

    In NZ – (as in Australia), the third world migrant guestworkers are highly concentrated in the main cities, with large unassimilated slums, rampant dog kernel housing, 10 bunks in 2 bedrooms, cash in hand subletting, epi centre of vice, crime, black market labour rings, Auckland like Sydney & Melbourne a world centre in money laundering, visa trafficking.

    In NZ (as in Australia), they cause social squalor, filth, violence, congestion, wages loss, housing bubble (due to triple occupancy density / untaxed rental cash flow..
    And the destruction of education
    “we pretend to teach them, they pretend to learn” etc.

    And like in Australia, once they get that NZ citizenship grant, they are invariably unskilled, ammoral and a major drain on NZ Health care, welfare & benefits.

    But not for long…
    As New Zealand then exports that burden to Australia.

    Via the Australian/NZ Special Category Visa (SCV( where they can enter and live permanently in Australia with FULL WORK RIGHTS.
    And a fast path to Australian Citizenship.

    The NZ intake is some 85,000 yearly unskilled third world migrants – almost all with the goal of NZ residency & NZ citizenship grant to then enter Australia on a NZ SCV.

    Currently we have 650,000 NZ SCV of which 230,000 are non NZ born third world unskilled migrant guestworkers that have come in via NZ.
    This up from 11% a decade ago. (18,000)
    So we have let in over 212,000 NZ SCV communist Chinese misfits / slum clearance, Indian slum & rural poor, the exodus of Indians pushed out of Fiji, plus the absolute bottom layer of third world trash that couldn’t even get into Australia which was easy.
    So they came in via NZ.
    20,000 plus a year in the last decade.

    It’s a one way flow – 95% of the NZ SCV non NZ born coming into Australia never return to NZ, offset only by genuine NZ born in Australia actually going back.

    There are another 290,000 third world unskilled trash in NZ pending entry into Australia.
    We are the ‘outlet’ for their intake basically.

    This is how NZ solves their migrant intake.
    They are just a transit zone & eventually by giving them a NZ passport stamp they will leave & go to Australia.

    The answer for Australia is simple.

    Restrict the Australian/NZ SCV to only Australian and NZ born adults.
    It was never intended to be a third world migrant guestworker trafficking route.

    And that’s only resolved by a Royal Commission and federal law changing immigration rules.

    As said, this is only a fraction, 11% of the total Australian TR migrant trafficking intake & impact.

    Fake Foreign students & partners
    580,000 of 641,000 Fake/pretext.

    illegally working tourist visitors
    440,000 of 8.8 million / illegal

    Non NZ born SCV
    230,000 of 650,000 should not have Aust work rights

    fake & pretext bridging/protection
    140,000 of 165,000 at least are fake,

    Fake working holiday
    115,000 of 138,000 was a good idea, but now it’s anything but genuine life experience working holiday that come in – it’s just cash bribe income for farmers to assist in mostly third world lowlife doing this visa as a alibi or a visa extension or churn.

    Fake / arranged spousal & family
    185,000 of 320,000 easily

    All up – over 1.5 million fake / pretext low life migrant guestworkers only here to lie cheat & steal, exploit our goodwill and naivety.

    We need a a full scope Royal Commission to look at the entire TR / Tourist / Visitor Visa intake.

    And have federal powers & regulatory decisions made on exiting at least the above 1.5 million TR including the non NZ born SCV who should never have been allowed into Australia.

    • greedypuppyMEMBER

      crikey -should we declare war on NZ as well …lets make our closest neighbour the bogeyman for all the evils fortress Australia might be in for ffs…most foreign migrants in Australia are not from NZs back door ..we welcome them with open wallets from China India and any where else who meets the need of our business sector or “education” sector.

      • I think I said that – repeatedly.
        We have 2.2 million TR plus 440,000 illegally working visitor / tourists (5% of all tourist visitors) plus 65,000 Overstayers.
        So say 2.7 million foreign migrant guestworkers onshore.
        The NZ SCV are 650,000 of the 2.2 million TR.
        Onshore / long stay permanent stay here.
        Take out 420,000 genuine NZ born & 230,000 are also third world unskilled via the NZ back door.
        About 11% of the total unskilled third world migrant guestworkers here on TR/TV visas.
        And there are another 290,000 third world migrants stacked up in NZ queuing up to get into Australia.

        Point is – another channel – about 11% of the third world migrant underclass here have used the NZ back door to get in Australia.

        The bigger point was that Winston Peters & Arden demonstrate the mistake of voters thinking there was a political party solution.
        They sold out.
        And it’s the same here in Australia.
        Labor, Liberals will all lie & spin.
        But then do the opposite & keep the migrant floodgates wide open.
        That’s why it needs a Royal Commission.

    • mm,

      I’ve read a few of your posts on this topic. I always find the stats you present to be brutal. Would be interesting to present this data on an infographic of some sort with underlying links to raw data.
      For example ATO must have some idea of how much unpaid tax there is from 10/bedroom slum accomodation, simply from the bank data of these slumlords. Or city councils and water usage etc from small apartments etc.

    • “That’s why it needs a Royal Commission”
      You know that the government is completely free to ignore any recommendations from a royal commission and in a significant proportion of them actually does, right?
      A rc only has investigative powers, nothing more.