This week, The New Zealand Initiative published a coincidentally timely report, The New New Zealanders: Why Migrants Make Good Kiwis.
If nothing else, President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on immigration demonstrates the importance of research, a pursuit he likely failed to undertake before temporarily banning people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States.
Thankfully, there are still some people that see value in real facts and evidence-based arguments. The report has been met with an incredible level of interest, and the responses have been overwhelmingly positive. It’s even garnered the attention of our Prime Minister.
The New Zealand Herald wrote a three-part immigration series based on the report, links to the articles can be found at the bottom of this blog. The report was also a focus of an editorial, which can be found here, detailing the importance of keeping immigration policy “live and open for debate”. The Herald’s business editor, Liam Dann, wrote an article about one of the report’s recommendations – the introduction of a levy on migrants. In the article, Liam makes reference to concerns about New Zealand lacking the necessary infrastructure to support migrant inflows. Such concerns are often raised as an argument against immigration, but the report recommends this should be placated by introducing additional fees for migrants, rather than by cutting migrant numbers.
Catherine Harris of Stuff focused on the business end of things, citing the importance of imported talent for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity. It also refers to some of the criticism that has been levelled at the report, namely by Labour’s immigration spokesman, Iain Lees-Galloway. He stated that the report “glossed over” some of the key immigration challenges we face. Of course, we’re not about to claim this publication is an indisputable and definitive manifesto of everything that is good and bad about immigration, but we think we made a pretty good go of addressing some of the often cited challenges immigration supposedly creates.
The Initiative’s Executive Director, Dr Oliver Hartwich appeared on TV1 Breakfast to discuss some of these challenges on Monday. He described immigration as a “win-win story for both migrants and New Zealanders alike”. You can watch the full interview here. Dr Hartwich also appeared on RadioLive on Monday, chatting to Mike and Trudi about the net positives immigrants contribute to New Zealand and dispelling some commonly held myths. You can listen to their conversation here.
Research Fellow and co-author of the report, Jason Krupp joined in the fun on Monday, appearing on TV3 NewsHub and Radio NZ to discuss the impact of immigration on housing. While acknowledging that migrants add pressure to the rental market, the report contends that they are not the cause of increasing housing prices and shortages. It does so on the basis that almost 60% of migrants come to New Zealand on a temporary visa, and are therefore unlikely to be in the market for buying a house. Radio NZ also published an article about these assertions, which can be found here.
The first in a series of videos we filmed with comedian and TV personality, Guy Williams, can be watched on our website. Keep an eye out for the next video when Guy takes to the streets to ask Wellingtonians their views on immigration. In the meantime, the report is available for free as a PDF on our website, just click here!
NZ Herald: Beyond the fear factor: New Kiwis can be good for us all, 30 January.
NZ Herald: Immigration: Four perspectives from the front, 31 January .
NZ Herald: Do migrants dilute the New Zealand identity?, 1 February.