Key: Record immigrations levels a vote of confidence

  • 22/09/2015
John Key says the increase of migrants to New Zealand is a vote of confidence (Simon Wong/3 News)
John Key says the increase of migrants to New Zealand is a vote of confidence (Simon Wong/3 News)

Prime Minister John Key sees record immigration as a vote of confidence in New Zealand and says those coming in bring skills and capital.

Latest figures show New Zealand had a net gain of 60,300 migrants in the year to August, the 13th straight month a record has been set.

NZ First's Ron Mark said on Monday the government wanted more migrants because they keep wages down.

"That was the government's intention, it's an age-old trick and it is exploiting foreign workers from lower-wage economies... they accept inferior pay and conditions," he said.

Mr Key says the job participation rate is going up, and whether immigrants keep wages down is debatable.

"I haven't seen enough research to argue that one way or another."

Mr Key says the Immigration Department and Work and Income decide what skills are required.

"That's the best way of doing it... it's important to manage it, and we do," he said.

"There's plenty of times when we've said certain skills were no longer required."

NZN