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Government response to Productivity Commission’s Immigration: Fit for the future inquiry

People at a busy airport

The Government has released its interim response to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into immigration settings for New Zealand’s long-term prosperity and wellbeing.

3 April 2023

Dr Ganesh Nana, Productivity Commission Chair welcomed the response from Government to the recommendations to build an immigration system that is fit for the future.

The Commission’s report Immigration - Fit for future was released in April 2022 and contained 32 findings and 24 recommendations, summarised as follows:

  • Publish an Immigration Government Policy Statement (GPS) to improve the quality and transparency of immigration policy.
  • Create stronger links between immigration policy with education and training.
  • Engage with Māori on how to reflect Te Tiriti o Waitangi in immigration policy and institutions.
  • Increase funding for iwi involvement and partnership in the expansion of the Welcoming Communities initiative.
  • Reduce the use of Skills Shortage Lists for immigration purposes and encourage wages to reflect scarcity.
  • Regularly review visa categories and the residency points system to ensure they sufficiently prioritize highly skilled migrants.
  • Cease the practice of tying migrants to a single employer.
  • Provide additional funding for the Labour Inspectorate to support labour market regulation, the proposed accredited employer scheme, and the integrity of the immigration system.

The interim response from Government highlights general agreement with the recommendations made in the Commission’s final report.

“I am particularly heartened by the positive response to the need for a Government Policy Statement and look forward to seeing how the draft Statement will bring immigration objectives together with other government priorities around infrastructure investments and education and training”, commented Dr Nana on the Government’s interim response.

“I am also encouraged to see that there will be engagement with Māori and consideration of what Te Tiriti means for future immigration policies.

“While immigration is neither the cause of nor the solution to, New Zealand’s productivity woes, an immigration system fit for the future will be a vital part of lifting New Zealand’s productivity and improving the wellbeing of all New Zealanders – now and for generations to come,” says Dr Nana.

See Terms of reference for the immigration inquiry.