So much for Jacinda Ardern’s “immigration reset”

Back in May, New Zealand’s Ardern Government vowed to end low-skilled, wage crushing migration via a “once-in-a generation” reset for New Zealand’s immigration system.

It flagged a significantly smaller migration intake post-Covid that focuses on highly skilled, highly paid and productive migrants that fill genuine skills shortages. This means abolishing the current low-skilled system, which has allowed businesses “to rely on lower-skilled labour and suppress wages rather than investing capital in productivity-enhancing plant and machinery, or employing and upskilling New Zealanders into work”.

The Ardern Government also tasked the New Zealand Productivity Commission (PC) with undertaking a system-wide review of the nation’s immigration program, with particular focus on the “impact of immigration on the labour market, housing and associated infrastructure, and the natural environment”.  The goal of the inquiry is to “enable New Zealand to strategically optimise its immigration settings” so that it maximises community wellbeing and living standards.

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