I contacted National, Labour, Act, The Maori Party, NZ First, the Greens, the Opportunities Party, the Conservatives and United Future to ask them all three questions. The third party to respond to my questions was United Future. My questions and Peter Dunne’s answers are published in full and un-edited.
The perception of many of our readers is that left-of-centre political parties prefer immigrants from low socio-economic countries who are highly dependent on the state and poorly educated because immigrants like that will naturally vote for the left-of-centre parties who allowed them in. Which immigrants get priority under your party’s policy and why?
UnitedFuture’s immigration policy is one that recognises the value that immigration holds for New Zealand, as highlighted in several recent pieces of research.
Our policy is designed to build upon the benefits New Zealand currently gains from immigration by introducing more space for business in skills-shortage areas to sponsor workers into the country. That allows a direct matching of vacancy to worker without having too much bureaucracy in the middle.
Further, we would prioritise immediate family members and allow a fast-track option for new migrants who both have the majority of their family in the country and who demonstrate an ability to take care of them.
Many of our readers do not trust the UN to decide which refugees we will get and are concerned that they are not being vetted properly. There is also the problem that Christian and non-Muslim refugees who are more easily able to integrate and assimilate into New Zealand are not safe inside the camps and flee them which results in an almost 100% Muslim refugee intake for New Zealand. Given that we are a Christian and secular country where does your party stand on our refugee quota?
We believe the refugee quota needs to be raised, however, we would also adopt a smarter approach to taking in refugees and allow more community input through private sponsorships. This is a system used in Canada where private organisations can choose to sponsor in refugees in addition to a quota system. That approach means we can balance the international obligations New Zealand has chosen to take on with the ability for our communities to sponsor refugees.
Our readers would also like to know if your party would support putting persecuted minorities such as Christian and non-Muslim refugees at the front of the queue?
We would support placing people in immediate danger at the front of the queue, but we also think it is important to look at the individual circumstances of refugees and what their needs are rather than assessing an individual as part of a religious or state-based group.