Ardern maintains New Zealand’s wage-crushing immigration policy

In May last year, 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”.

In October, the Ardern Government began backsliding on its commitment, announcing that 165,000 permanent residency visas (representing 3.3% of New Zealand’s population) would be handed out like tic tacs.

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