Greens: Govt immigration curbs not enough

James Shaw (SImon Wong / Newshub.)
James Shaw (SImon Wong / Newshub.)

The Green Party believes shaving 5000 residency approvals off migration numbers doesn't go far enough.

The Government's target of between 85,000 and 90,000 a year for the next two years has been criticised as a token gesture.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw told TV3's The Nation a sustainable policy should be based on about 1 percent of population growth.

"We think that the country needs a more sustainable immigration policy, so what we'd do is set a variable approvals target based on a percentage of the overall population. That would be at about 1 percent of the population, which is historically how fast New Zealand's population has grown."

Mr Shaw says the policy would even out peaks and troughs in annual migration numbers.

"You've also got to cater for changes in infrastructure, and because our population has historically grown at about 1 percent the country is set up to absorb that," he says.

"Suddenly double that number, and you've got a problem like we've got at the moment, where you actually can't meet the demand."