On immigration to the regions, Treasury to Bill English: You?re dreamin?

Mr English, Mr English, a phone call…some guy called Daryl Kerrigan is calling you:

The Government’s lead economic advisor warns a new policy aimed at attracting more migrants to the regions would achieve nothing.

According to documents released under the Official Information Act, Treasury told Finance Minister Bill English on July 16 the new Government measures were unlikely to help regional development.

The measures went to Cabinet for approval on July 20 and the increased bonus points on residency requests was announced on July 26. Under the revised scheme, skilled workers who take jobs in the regions or set up businesses there will have their points to calculate whether residency requests should be approved increased.

However, the July Treasury briefing to Mr English had warned the policy changes were unlikely to have a consequential impact for regional development. ??

The Treasury briefing said most migrants currently didn’t go to non-urban areas.

Of the Skilled Migrant Category migrants that had jobs or a job offer in 2013/2014, 47 per cent were based in Auckland. Of the remainder, 18 per cent were in Canterbury, 11 per cent in Wellington and 5 per cent in Waikato.

The briefing said there was currently no mechanism to ensure migrants stayed in regions even if they claimed the bonus points.

“Once a migrant has a residence class visa they are free to move around the country as they choose.”

Gee, didn’t I point that out weeks ago…why yes I did.

Unless we are prepared to have internal border controls and make everyone carry ID cards to prevent movement from areas this policy will never work, ever.

Mr English…that Mr Kerrigan couldn’t hold…he left you a message…he said “Tell ‘im ‘e’s dreamin'”


– A newspaper