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Labour ignored official advice over Pacific Islanders

Posted on 16 May 2005
The Labour Government ignored official advice and went ahead and lowered the minimum income threshold for new Pacific Island migrants applying for New Zealand residency last year, ACT Deputy Leader and Immigration spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.
 
Documentation released to Dr Newman under the Official Information Act, shows the Department of Labour, Housing New Zealand and the Treasury all opposed Labour’s plan to reduce the income threshold from $31,566 to $25,585 p.a for Pacific Islanders applying to live in New Zealand.
 
“Lowering the threshold means that the new migrants will go straight on to the welfare system,” Dr Newman said.
 
“All three government agencies warned immigration minister Paul Swain that any income level reduction could ‘negatively impact on settlement outcomes, have associated impacts on housing, education and health and increase the level of State support for low-earning families,’” Dr Newman said.
 
“It’s an utter disgrace that Mr Swain ignored official advice and pushed through these changes with absolutely no regard for the taxpayers of New Zealand, who ultimately have to foot the bill for this extra spending.
 
“There is already more than enough people in this country relying on the state to make ends meet. Bringing in migrants from offshore to go on to welfare is simply irresponsible.
 
“Taxpayers are sick and tired of Labour rolling out the red carpet to anyone and everyone who wants to come here and live off the hard-working taxpayer. We need to replace Labour with a government that introduces higher standards to ensure that new migrants contribute to the future well being of New Zealand,” Dr Newman said.
 
ENDS
 
 
Dr Muriel Newman MP                     
muriel.newman@parliament.govt.nz
Phone:            04 470 6633  /  021 800 111
Fax:                 04 473 3532
Michelle Brooker, Press Secretary
michelle.brooker@parliament.govt.nz
Phone:            04 470 6644  /  021 995601