National MP Erica Stanford blasts Govt over immigration and education, calls policies 'sexist' and 'waffling'

Welcome to The Pitch with Newshub Nation, where we give MPs just five minutes to sell you on their ideas.

In the hot seat this week, National's Immigration and Education Spokesperson Erica Stanford, who blasted the recently unveiled immigration settings 'sexist' and the Ministry of Education's plans for improving literacy and numeracy 'waffling'. 

First asked about the Green Party's accusations of racism and sexism in the new immigration policies, Stanford agreed they were 'absolutely' sexist but said accusations of racism were unfounded.  

"Racist, I don't buy that. I think that's a bit of an attention grabbing headlines from the Greens. It's just that those are the skills that we need. It's been based on the long term skills shortage list. Sexist? I have to agree."

The National MP said she also doubted the ability of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) to process visas in a reasonable timeframe. 

"They still have 100 fewer people processing visas than they did in 2017. Easy fix. The job is to process visas, use the staff that they've got to process visas."

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi defended the policies on Newshub Nation, saying he rejects assertions of racism and sexism and was confident in INZ's ability to process visas promptly.  

Asked about the Government's Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy, aimed at reversing decades of declining performance in math and reading in our schools, Stanford was scathing. 

"The numeracy, literacy and communication plan that was rolled out was a giant waffling document that didn't say anything. It said nothing at all."

Watch the full interview.

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