New Zealand Immigration, changes?

Immigration has become a popular topic in NZ with many ‘experts’ presenting ideas on how the system could be improved. This is an important discussion, but to make it more productive it would be helpful if the ‘experts’ could first take a look at the current system, previous systems applied and immigration patterns. This would help us avoid people ‘fixing’ the system by:

  • ‘introducing’ ideas which are current policy;
  • re-introducing ideas which have previously proved flawed;
  • confusing temporary visa rules with those relating to residence;
  • blocking occupations in key areas NZ needs.

Understanding the system before you ‘fix’ it helps avoid the risk of repeating the errors of the past, throwing away sections which work well, damaging NZ businesses and the ability for NZ workers to get training and jobs, and of course fend off the ever-present spectre of the law of unintended consequences.

Oh, and statistics can be useful, but please use the right ones (to talk about ‘residents’ for example use the dataset which measures ‘residents’). Seizing on statistics which affect one or two people a year to discuss the entire system is also unhelpful.


Mike Bell
Migrant Advocate | Licensed Immigration Adviser


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