Immigration Changes

First, listen to The New Government.

The new government was sworn in yesterday. That included the new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, her deputy Winston Peters, and all the Ministers – all 31 of them.

The new Minister of Immigration is Iain Lees-Galloway. He was elected to Parliament as a Labour MP in 2008, at the age of 30. When he was in Opposition, he was the spokesperson for Immigration. His job was to oppose the Minister of Immigration, so he knows a great deal about this topic. The new government plans to reduce the number of immigrants to a figure between 40,000 and 50,000. Last year we had the highest number of immigrants – 70,000, most of whom moved to Auckland. This has put pressure on housing, schools, transport, and other infrastructure in Auckland. Many people blame immigration for the high cost of housing and for traffic jams in Auckland.

One problem has been international students attending low quality business or language schools, hoping they would be successful in getting a job, and applying for immigration. Mr Lees-Galloway has said the government will close low quality schools. He will focus on important skills that immigrants can bring to New Zealand.

NZ will also double the number of refugees that we accept, from 750 a year to 1500 a year, by 2020. He is confident we can provide good support for refugees.


• spokesperson (n) – person who can speak on this topic, someone who has the knowledge
• oppose (v) – give the opposite view, criticise the government
• infra-structure (n) – things like water, sewerage, electricity, roads etc that are needed for a city to function
• blame (v) – say that this is the fault of one person or one side


  1. Which group is largest immigration group for NZ?

  2. It’s actually not easy to answer your question because Statistics NZ records long-term arrivals but doesn’t ask if the person arriving is a NZ citizen and many of those people are New Zealanders returning home to live. The figures given by for the year ending March 2017 are as follows: 25,557 from Australia, 15,000 from Britain, 12,358 from China, 9,547 from India and 5,500 who gave no country. We know that many New Zealanders went to work in Australia during the mining boom which is now finished. Also the global financial problems overseas have brought many New Zealanders back home.

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