Immigration Report Welcomed

The EMA has noted that the Productivity Commission report Immigration - Fit for the Future will be welcomed by its members, who already know that immigration is good for business.

The report highlights that New Zealand’s immigration system has largely worked well, contributing to its economy and communities, and that we do attract high skilled migrants, however, EMA Head of Advocacy and Strategy, Alan McDonald, said refreshed immigration policy settings are not the exclusive answer to driving productivity.

"We’d agree with the findings that long-term investment, infrastructure planning and skills development needed to build local capability are also necessary to drive better productivity.

"The key will be how we integrate these and the policy settings that are needed to provide the certainty of immigration for business to ensure they can effectively plan for their workforces.”

McDonald said the report shows that immigration is not the source of lost wages and productivity and that gaps in our infrastructure were apparent before we had more open access to the immigration talent pool.

"Rather, our GDP growth has been based on working harder, not smarter, and the stresses from infrastructure gap has been in play long before the recent migration surge over the last 10 years.”

The Government Commissioned report by the Productivity Commission considered immigration policies for the country’s long-term economic growth alongside the wellbeing of Kiwis.

"There will be a need for better labour market data to inform policy advice, and for the labour inspectorate to be given more scope to investigate breaches," concluded McDonald.

"We look forward to working with the Government on recommendations from the report and an enduring Immigration Government Policy Statement that will help inform the way forward.”