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 second party to respond to my questions was The Act Party. Below are my questions and their answers 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 Act’s policy and why?
ACT has not released our immigration policy for the 2017 election. However, we believe in general that immigration is a good thing. The perception that immigrants sponge off the taxpayer is not true: A recent New Zealand Initiative report showed that immigrants contribute, on average, a net $2600 per year to government coffers, compared to the New Zealand-born average of $170.
Skilled immigrants ready to fill job vacancies would get priority, as would people who want to invest or start a business here. International students should also be prioritised as they generate revenue allowing universities to provide a better service to New Zealand students, and reduce the burden on taxpayers. Our big cities need an increase in construction activity to meet demand for new houses (and infrastructure), so there should be an allowance for those who are coming to work or invest in the construction sector (once red tape is removed from the planning and building system). Immigrant labour was critical to the Christchurch rebuild.
We would continue to welcome family reunification with the caveat that immigrants should not be eligible for superannuation after only 10 years living in the country, we will announce an extension to this period later in the year.
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