Talking Points

Measuring the actual impact of immigration

The much-talked-about immigration reform is moving closer. The Government has recently tasked the Productivity Commission with researching how immigration levels impact house prices, infrastructure, employment, social stability, and the natural environment.

The inquiry will produce some recommendations about what policy settings are most likely to support New Zealand’s long-term growth and wellbeing.

Just like he did on TV in March, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi described Covid as “a rare opportunity to have a look at those settings for the long term.”

“What we anticipate is wanting to make sure those sectors that have traditionally relied on migrant labour in the past have a good look at themselves as to what they’re doing in terms of skills and training, to make sure New Zealanders can have those opportunities – but again, I will support sectors through that,” Faafoi told RNZ.

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson echoed his words, stressing that the Productivity Commission inquiry provides an opportunity to “have a mature debate about immigration, its positives and negatives.”

“Many migrants settle smoothly and prosper here, benefitting themselves, their families and New Zealand. They bring a highly valuable diversity of skills, talents, knowledge, experience, international connections, and financial, social and cultural capital,” Robertson said. “However, it is important that we better understand the economic and other impacts of New Zealand’s immigration system.”

To be continued?