3 Nov 2011

Labour plans to tighten immigration rules

12:16 pm on 3 November 2011

The Labour Party says it would tighten immigration rules to make sure New Zealand is attracting the right talent to fill skills shortages.

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Under election policy announced on Thursday, it says immigration rules would need to be changed to reflect the high unemployment rate and changes in the local labour market.

Labour's immigration spokesperson Ruth Dyson says the Government should be able to choose who comes to New Zealand.

Ms Dyson told Radio New Zealand that, during the past three years, the local economy has changed and migrants should be matched to skills shortages that cannot be filled by New Zealanders.

She says Pacific immigrants who working illegally in the country would also be encouraged to formalise their living status.

"It's not acceptable to have people living here without a regular status, with no work visa and really causing concern within their communities."

Ruth Dyson says Labour would also develop a national plan for refugee resettlement.