Immigration Needs Long Term Strategy, not Knee Jerk Reaction

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Leighton Baker, Conservative Party NZ Leader. While many parties are advocating for higher immigration numbers, there are some valid reasons to curb immigration, not the least of these being that we haven’t got the houses for them to live in. 2 + 2 does not equal 3,, and until we have sufficient accommodation available for our existing population, then arriving immigrants will push the most vulnerable out of suitable housing, into their cars, or into overcrowding.

Looking long term, if current predictions of 30 to 40% job losses to automation over the next 15 to 20 years prove correct, then we need to be looking now at how we find work, or retrain 1.5Million Kiwis in 15 years. With current net gain of 70,000 people per year, that adds another 200,000 to 300,000 people who will be out of work in 15 years.

We need to take a data-driven approach to workforce needs analysis and recognise that some industries require more skilled workers, but they should be coming from re-training those in soon-to-be automated industries. This doesn’t require a crystal ball – the numbers already indicate where the key mis-match areas are.

It is not unjustified speculation to say that our immigration numbers today could contribute to a major social disaster in the future if we keep welcoming migrants and do not have a plan and process in place to train people for the future.

“If that plan is not there for New Zealanders here currently, then what chance do we have of accommodating 1 million plus immigrants in the next 15 years?” asks Conservative Party Leader, Leighton Baker.

“Net Zero immigration until we have a plan. And that is a plan,” he concludes.

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