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Peters Calls On Halt To Migration To Save Jobs

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The number of immigrants should be cut to protect jobs, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said today.

Speaking at a Grey Power meeting in Nelson, Mr Peters returned to a familiar theme -- restricting the numbers of people moving to New Zealand.

"New Zealand First is announcing today that immigration numbers will be cut to ensure Kiwis do not have to compete with immigrants for jobs as our economy goes into decline," Mr Peters said.

"We must never return to open door immigration undermining the efforts of New Zealanders trying to find a job in tough times.

"When times are tough internationally immigrants are attracted to New Zealand like moths to a neon light."

Prime Minister Helen Clark said cutting the quota would not be sensible.

"Kiwis do come first for jobs but we open our door when we can't find people to do the jobs," she told reporters on the campaign trail in Hamilton.

"There's never been a time in New Zealand's history when we didn't need to bring in skilled people."

Miss Clark said immigration had been Mr Peters' "bread and butter" for a long time.

"But from the Labour Party's point of view migration has built New Zealand, it's driving our economy and society forward at the moment, and we've got to make it work."

Miss Clark said immigration policy meant that people coming in under the skills category went straight into jobs.

Mr Peters said no one should be let into New Zealand unless they had a job and those seeking to join families in this country would have to be immediate family only.

"NZ First immigration policy is all about protecting and saving New Zealand jobs."

Treasury last forecasts that unemployment will from 3.9 percent to 5.1 percent, though these estimates were made before the international credit crisis deepened.

Most economic theory contends that positive migration flow tend to boost the economy and negative migration rates reduce economic growth.

Earlier in the year Mr Peters' deputy Peter Brown said he was concerned that society would become more divided if the number of Asians coming to New Zealand continued to grow.

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