Labour's immigration policy 'build a wall' - Judith Collins

National MP Judith Collins has compared Labour's call to cut the number of immigrants to Donald Trump's proposed Mexican border wall.

On Thursday, Labour leader Andrew Little vowed to cut immigration from 70,000 to 25,000.

"We're just shoving more and more people in," he told The AM Show on Thursday. "Auckland cannot cope anymore."

Ms Collins, speaking to The AM Show on Friday alongside Labour deputy leader Jacinda Ardern and Mt Albert MP, said Mr Little's stance sounded familiar.

"It reminded me of a politician from the US - I thought it was a real 'build a wall' type of thing."

One of Mr Trump's flagship election promises was to build a wall along the entire length of the US border with Mexico. Estimates of its cost have been put at over US$20 billion. He promised to use existing funding to pay for it, but a Reuters report in March said the Department of Homeland Security could only find US$20m of repurposed money available.

Labour says cutting immigration will help ease the Auckland housing crisis. The Government is spending $100,000 a night on motels for the homeless, but Ms Collins says that's better than doing nothing.

"It's a short-term solution, but obviously I'd rather - and the whole of New Zealand would rather - people be in housing. I don't want to see people in cars either."

The Government initially only budgeted $2 million a year, but that looks likely to blow out to more than $30 million.

"We're proud of actually doing something," said Ms Collins. "I know it's a big cost, but better to do that than leave them on the streets or in cars."

Ms Ardern says the Government's failure to build more social housing is partly to blame for the blowout.

"I've got houses in my area being surveyed by Housing NZ for sale. That's ludicrous. That's our frustration - Housing NZ houses being sold, when we cannot house people."

The immigration cuts wouldn't be permanent, says Ms Ardern, just enough to give cities struggling to cope a "breather".

"I think Auckland understands utterly what I'm talking about," she said.

Newshub.

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