How do our political parties’ immigration policies compare?

Immigration policies from all conservative political parties are listed below with links to their policy details at the end. I have also included non-conservative parties so that you can compare.

To help with this process I have summarised their policies. It is interesting to me that the Green party have much harsher guidelines and rules for migrants who bring money to New Zealand than they do for migrants who bring nothing but themselves. ACT on the other hand want to encourage migrant investors as do National. Surprisingly though, National have no policy details regarding NZ values/culture, citizenship, residency or NZ laws with regard to migrants.


SummaryA focus on welfare, a five-year probation period and NZ values. Pro-immigration, annual quota and all people equal before the law. Occupational licensing reduced, points system to attract skilled migrants and reduce tax burden to keep and attract entrepreneurs. 

Ensure that immigrants do not gain easy access to welfare

Introduce a five-year probation period during which immigrants who offend can be sent home if convicted of an imprisonable offence

Maintain New Zealand’s values of free speech, free assembly, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, property rights and the rule of law as non-negotiable conditions that all immigrants must accept

Continue to be a pro-immigration party honouring our heritage as a nation of immigrants, and the contribution that recently arrived New Zealanders make to our society

 Adopt immigrant welcoming policies within an overall annual quota set at a level that the country can absorb

 Ensure that the place of Maori and the Treaty are respected but all people are equal before the law regardless of background

Reduce occupational licensing as a barrier to the use of immigrants’ skills

Maintain the points system as the best system for attracting skilled migrants

 Reduce the tax burden of the highest earning individuals to attract talented entrepreneurs, and others with valuable international connections, and retain New Zealanders who would otherwise leave.

For more details click here.


Summary: Selection of migrants to be impartial. Voluntary migrants must take part in an orientation programme as a condition of residency and citizenship. Strict scrutiny of investors. Three-year provisional visa for immigrant investors. Audits of migrant investor businesses that migrants must pay for plus a police report. Provide migrants with information about NZ culture. Must be able to demonstrate an awareness of key aspects of New Zealand’s laws and social norms before being given permanent residency status.

 Ensure that our policies in regard to voluntary migration are impartial in regard to the applicants’ countries of origin, ethnicities, cultures, age, gender, sexual orientation, and all other prohibited grounds of discrimination set out in Section 21 of the Human Rights Act 1993

Require that all voluntary migrants commit to undergoing an orientation programme, including education about Te Tiriti o Waitangi, as a condition of being granted permanent residency or citizenship status 2. Give priority in the skilled migrant category to skills needed for a sustainable society and economy, such as scientists, engineers and other trades with specialised skills applicable to fields including — but not limited to — organic farming, biodegradable materials, recycling, and renewable energy and fuels

Require strict scrutiny of applications in the investor category for sincerity and benefit to quality of life in Aotearoa/NZ — people shouldn’t be able just to buy their way into Aotearoa

Tighten up on scams in which overseas millionaires buy up NZ property by making business-development promises that they don’t keep. We will do this by:

a. Using a three-year provisional visa for investor migrants

b. Undertaking annual audits of investor migrants’ businesses via extended case management, paid for by the business being audited.

c. Ensuring that the audits include checks for viability, sustainability, and desirability and are undertaken by immigration officials, an accountant, and a marketing consultant. These audits, prepared independently, together with a police report and any complaints, will form the basis of the decision.

Direct resources into providing all new immigrants of all categories with information about New Zealand culture, in particular those practises which may be common in other cultures but are considered offensive, unacceptable, or illegal here. (This tuition would be provided free to refugees, but on a fee basis to business migrants. Skilled migrants would have fees for this service assessed on an ability-to-pay basis)

Require all new voluntary migrants granted provisional residency status to be able to demonstrate an awareness of key aspects of New Zealand’s laws and social norms before they may receive permanent residency status.

For more details click here.


Summary:   Targeted immigration to attract the skills, investment and international students needed.  Better refugee resettlement. Streamline the immigration process. Reduce overstayer numbers  and combat people smuggling.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 4.27.44 PMScreen Shot 2016-07-13 at 4.28.59 PMScreen Shot 2016-07-13 at 4.29.08 PM

For more details click here.



Summary: Immigration should fill genuine skill shortages and immigrants should be paid ” decent ” wages. Immigration should focus on highly skilled immigrants rather than cheap labour. Incentivise skilled immigrants to live in the regions.Review family unification categories and Pacific quota.Use points system. Increase the number of refugees.

We should have an immigration system that fills genuine skills shortages and isn’t used to keep wages down. Employers should have to show they are offering decent wages before they claim there’s a skills shortage – and if they do look to immigration to fill that shortage they should pay those workers properly too.

Labour Party: They have changed their website so there is no longer access to an immigration policy document. I found the below link in a media article but the link is dead.

Basic CMYK

Summary: Immigration is needed to fill skill shortages. Wants immigration particularly from the UK to continue.

We do have skill shortages that cannot be filled by Kiwis due to a lack of skilled workers in New Zealand and therefore accept immigration is necessary in that regard. In addition to that we have traditionally been a lifestyle/retirement option of choice for those coming from the UK which we also hope will continue.

Screenshot from Conservative Party website

Conservative Party: I could not find a policy document on their website, only brief answers to questions about policy. I will update this if any one in the Conservative party sends me a link.


Summary: Ensure Immigration rules and standards are rigorously applied. NZ citizens to have priority for jobs. Immigration to serve New Zealand’s best interests and fill skill gaps. Control and cap family reunification. Cap on older immigrants. Measures to stop exploitation of migrant workers. Strategies to move migrants out of Auckland. Prevent the bypassing of minimum English entry requirements.

New Zealand First is committed to a rigorous and strictly applied immigration policy that serves New Zealand’s interests. Immigration should not be used as a source of cheap labour to undermine New Zealanders’ pay and conditions.

There have been numerous instances of administrative failure to apply immigration rules and standards.

New Zealand First will strengthen Immigration New Zealand to give it the capacity to apply immigration policy effectively.

  • Make sure that Kiwi workers are at the front of the job queue.
  • Ensure that immigration policy is based on New Zealand’s interests and the main focus is on meeting critical skills gaps.
  • Ensure family reunion members are strictly controlled and capped and there is fairness across all nationalities.
  • Ensure that there is effective labour market testing to ensure New Zealanders have first call on New Zealand jobs.
  • Introduce a cap on the number of older immigrants because of the impact on health and other services.
  • Make sure effective measures are put in place to stop the exploitation of migrant workers with respect to wages, safety and work conditions.  In Christchurch and elsewhere there is evidence of exploitation of migrant workers.
  • Develop strategies to encourage the regional dispersion of immigration to places other than Auckland. Auckland’s infrastructure is overloaded.
  • Remove the ability to purchase a pre-paid English lesson voucher to bypass the minimum English entry requirements.

For more details click here


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If you agree with me that’s nice but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo. Look between the lines, do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.