Tighter Immigration Policies Lead To Fewer Pacific Migrants To New Zealand

Number of islanders allowed into country has dropped by 28% since 2012

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 5, 2017) – Tighter immigration policies in New Zealand have led to significant falls in the number of approved migrants from Pacific countries over the past five years.

Figures released to RNZ International show that the number of Pacific people allowed into the country has dropped by 28 percent in the capped family residence category, and in the skilled migrant category, since 2012.

Immigration lawyer Richard Small said the policies did not strke a fair balance between bringing skilled workers into the country and valuing family relationships.

"There are many many hurdles to just do basic things that go to the core of the identity of these families, that they need to be together with their loved ones," he said.

"We're not finding that. We're finding usually a closed door, in fact a locked door."

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the government was generous to applicants from Pacific countries, despite the significant falls in approved applications from the region.

He said the Pacific Access Category scheme reflected the government's special relationship with the Pacific.

"We have a specific quota to enable both Samoan residents and other members of the Pacific to come and gain residence," said Mr Woodhouse.

"So I think that we have very generous visa arrangements that are quite unique and are not the same for any other country in the world."

Radio New Zealand International
Copyright © 2017 RNZI. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment