We'll cut tens of thousands of immigrants - Little

Tens of thousands of immigrants will be prevented from coming into the country under a Labour Government.

Labour leader Andrew Little said the party would target the work visa scheme, reducing net migration and giving "locals a chance first".

The National Party's new immigration plans will see a remuneration threshold for skilled migrants, new time limits for visas, stand-down periods between applications and tighter regulations for partner visas.

The plans have been characterised by Mr Little as simply "tinkering." He says cities like Auckland can no longer cope with the amount of people coming in.

Mr Little wouldn't give a precise figure, but said the number of migrants coming into New Zealand has to be cut by tens of thousands.

"That 70,000 net inflow of migrants - we cannot continue to do that. It has to be tens of thousands less than what we're doing at the moment," Mr Little told The AM Show.

That cut would come from the work visa scheme.

"Six thousand work visas are issued for people to do labouring work and we've got 15,000 out-of-work labourers. That doesn't make sense."

Mr Little said he would rather "spend time and effort bending over backwards" to get locals doing work.

"The priority's got to be for everyone who wants to work, who can work, who needs to work, is in work before we go overseas."

Watch the video to see Andrew Little on The AM Show.