Government makes law it doesn’t intend to enforce. Welcome to New Zealand

Richard Harman at Politik writes

And according to Statistics figures, 42% of [Immigrant] arrivals stayed in Auckland.

Treasury says it is that number which has been putting pressure on housing prices in the city.

Ironically the report came on the same day as a the start of a new Government scheme designed to try and draw immigrants away from Auckland to regional New Zealand.

At the same time work is continuing on a way to make it possible for low skilled migrants – such as horticultural, freezing works and dairy farm workers — in the provinces to get a path to citizenship.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse told POLITIK that he expected to have this work finished by next March.

In the moves announced yesterday intending migrants can get extra points if they plan to live outside Auckland.

But there is a big loophole in the Government plan

Oh no!  Not a loophole!  Woodhouse is involved, and he never stuffs anything up.  Right?  

There is nothing to require the migrants to stay in the region they have moved to.

“We’re certainly not compelling them to do so,” said Mr Woodhouse.

“I don’t think that will be necessary.”

Instead he believes the migrants will put down roots in the regions and will stay there till for at least two or three years till they get their citizenship.

Mr Woodhouse concedes that migrants are most likely to be attracted to regions which are already doing well economically such as Queenstown rather than regions doing poorly such as the North Island’s East Coast region.

“But the measures will have modest, but over time, material benefits that will enable people to be more drawn to job opportunities in those regions and particularly the setting up of businesses there.

“But there are regions that will benefit from this more than others.”


Yeah, just like people come to New Zealand to become citizens and then they’re off to Australia never to be seen again.

Unless there is some kind of bonding process, or repercussions for not staying in the regions, every damn applicant is going to say they’re off to live and work in Taihape to get in.

With absolutely no enforcement pre-signaled, who wouldn’t?   Once you’re in, nobody checks where you end up.

I honestly don’t know why Key continues to let Woodhouse make such a mess of it.   Could it be that it is strategy?  To be seen to be ‘doing something’ but in the end not actually changing a thing?


– Politik

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