ACT Party Leader David Seymour has made a bold announcement today of bringing immigration levels back at pre-Covid levels through careful border management.
He was speaking at the launch of the third discussion document this morning in Fraser eatery in Mt Eden, Auckland.
The Party released the third in its series of Honest Conversations documents, this one about the economy.
“Kiwis want a fair go. If you work hard, you should be rewarded, but under the Labour Government it feels like people are rewarded for doing nothing while hardworking taxpayers are being punished,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The balance has been tipped in the wrong direction. Our economic policies reward the people who keep the New Zealand economy going.”
Seymour reiterated the need to revive the idea of privately run managed isolation (MIQ), which was earlier mooted in August last year to carefully plan New Zealand's controlled re-connection with the rest of the world and was discarded by the government, arguing that border management was too complex exercise to be outsourced to the private sector.
The discussion document also emphasises on the abolition of the Zero Carbon Act and the replacement of the Resource Management Act with separate Environmental Protection and Urban Development Acts.
The discussion document also suggests replacing the Zero Carbon Act with an Emissions Trading Scheme cap that matches targets with New Zealand's trading partners.
It also calls for re-instating 90-day trials and repeal fair pay agreement legislation, reforming the Employment Relations Act with changes that de-emphasise unions and the Employment Relations Authority.
In this regard, the call for taking immigration back to pre-Covid levels would turn many heads around, especially given that the government is tightly controlling the borders and is, in fact determined to use Covid as an opportunity to turn the tap on immigration.
There has already been a much-touted announcement on "immigration reset" delivered by Minister of Tourism Stuart Nash a couple of months ago, where the government's vision of terminating the dependency on foreign migrant workers was accentuated.
While that announcement, is yet to be followed up with a definitive policy and concreate action plan, as different industry sector continues to cry for staff-shortage.
The last couple of months had seen New Zealand's hospitality sector crying for staff-shortage.
Only recently, immigration Minister Kris Faafoi had also announced the extension of Essential Skill work visas of 18,000 workers deemed by this government as "low skilled workers."
In this regard, it would be interesting to see how ACT Party proposes to deliver to take immigration back to pre-Covid levels.
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