5 Sep 2016

Govt to review immigration numbers

12:11 pm on 5 September 2016

The Immigration Minister says the government will review the number of immigrants entering the country, but he does not expect the policy to change.

Michael Woodhouse after being appointed as a Minister 14.12.15.

Michael Woodhouse Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

A record 69,000 people settled in New Zealand in the year to July.

That broke a run of consecutive monthly gains that lasted 23 months and reached a high of 69,100. On a monthly basis, the number of people coming to live in New Zealand, or New Zealanders returning home fell slightly to 5600.

The minister, Michael Woodhouse, told TVNZ's Q + A programme this morning the numbers for the new residents programme would be reviewed by Cabinet in the next month or so.

At present it is set between 45,000 and 50,000. The planning range is set over a two-year period, which expired at the end of June.

Mr Woodhouse said in most of the past 10 years there had been considerably fewer new residents than the current number.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little had previously said there was a mismatch between immigration and labour market needs with workers being brought in from overseas to fill jobs while thousands of New Zealand labourers were unemployed.

Real estate company Harcourts, meanwhile, blamed record immigration and poor planning for the country's housing shortage.

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