Shane Jones says Indian students have 'ruined' NZ academic institutions

Shane Jones has lashed out at New Zealand's current immigration policy, saying too many people "from New Delhi" are being allowed to settle in New Zealand.

The NZ First MP made the comments on Newshub Nation on Saturday morning, saying he's "astounded how quickly the last million people arrived in New Zealand".

"Immigration is unfettered," he told host Simon Shepherd. "Immigration has got out of control in Auckland, and it's put enormous stress on our social and economic infrastructure, and you can't walk away from that."

New Zealand's population reached 4 million in 2002, and is expected to reach 5 million this year - taking 18 years to add 1 million. The previous million took 29 years (1973-2002), Statistics NZ data shows, and the million before that 21 years (1952-1973).

He blamed employers, saying they've taken over immigration policy. 

"In our view, employers are only interested in net profit, after tax. They're not interested in nationhood."

Jones has suggested New Zealand introduce a maximum population policy, but wouldn't say what that figure should be.

"These are the exactly the ideas Kiwis should debate, and Kiwis should rely on New Zealand First... to take forward."

He said any population growth should suit the needs of the regions, not the cities, before targeting- not for the first time - the Indian community. 

"What sort of country do you want? We were originally settled through the Treaty of Waitangi. The indigenous people coming with their Pacific roots, the Maori people, then the Anglos came, and in my case the Croatians came. 

"If you want another million, 2 million, 3 million people, we should debate it and there should be a mandate, rather than opening up the options, unfettered, and everyone comes here from New Delhi. I don't like that idea at all. I think the number of students that have come from India have ruined many of those institutions."

Simon Shepherd grills Shane Jones on Newshub Nation.
Simon Shepherd grills Shane Jones on Newshub Nation. Photo credit: Newshub Nation.

He said Labour couldn't be trusted to cut immigration as it "offends their sense of political correctness", and National because it's "funded by certain very rich overseas donors".

Last year he caused outrage by saying Indians "have no legitimate expectations in my view to bring your whole village to New Zealand", dismissing criticism as a "Bollywood overreaction"

There are between 55,000 and 60,000 international students studying in New Zealand, most of which are from Asia. In 2017, 13,800 of them were Indian

Immigration actually rejected more than a third of applications from Indians to study in New Zealand last year, up from 23 percent the year before, following a rise in fraudulent applications and changes to work visa rules for students. 

Newshub has contacted the University of Auckland for a response.