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Thread: The election

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    Default The election

    Guess it's about time we had a look at how a change of government could affect immigration. Will NZ have it's first retirement visa?

    If National gets in....

    08 September 2008
    NZ's National Party plans for new NZ visas

    The New Zealand National Party has announced more changes to its proposed immigration policy, reports the New Zealand Herald. The new policy involves a retirement visa, a silver fern visa, and possibly a new stand-alone Immigration Department.
    The National Party plans to introduce a retirement visa that allows wealthy overseas retirees to move to New Zealand, provided they can afford their own healthcare. The National Party’s spokesman Lockwood Smith said the visa would attract more spending at no cost to the public health system.

    The Party also announced plans for a silver fern visa, which allows tertiary-educated migrants a buffer period to search for a job in New Zealand. If they found permanent work in areas of a skills shortage, then migrants would be allowed to work in New Zealand on a New Zealand work permit for two years and then apply for fast-tracked permanent residency.

    The Party has also released plans to include a stand-alone Immigration Department to improve the processing of New Zealand visa applications. However, the Public Service Association (PSA) said in a press release last Friday that setting up a new government department would be too costly.

    “One thing we do know is that the staff at Immigration New Zealand have a huge workload,” said Brenda Pilott, National Secretary of PSA. During the last financial year, the PSA processed 45,000 visa applications for New Zealand.


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    If Labour stays in.

    Students welcome Labour policy
    Oct 13, 2008 3:20 PM

    Students throughout the country are celebrating Labour's announcement it will phase in a universal student allowance over the next four years if it wins the election.

    The current parental income test on the allowance would be phased out by 2012.

    The new policy was unveiled to a packed Otago University auditorium and was welcomed by the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations (NZUSA).

    "This is brilliant news and will be welcomed by hundreds of thousands of students who will no longer have to borrow to live," NZUSA co-president Paul Falloon says.

    "Student debt has been having significant negative effects on the New Zealand economy and society, so we congratulate Labour for recognising this and delivering a sensible and fair policy that looks to the future sustainability of the nation."

    Currently only around a third of students receive an allowance, with two thirds excluded due to parental-income means-testing until the age of 25. As a result many must borrow simply to cover basic living costs.

    AUSA president David Do says the policy is excellent news for students.

    "A universal student allowance is a justified future investment in our young people, so they can focus on their studies and graduate with less debt.

    "While the implementation is not as immediate as we would have liked, we understand the government's motivation given the current economic situation. Nevertheless, this is a significant commitment by a major party to a universal student allowance."

    AUSA says they are now looking forward to a bipartisan commitment on student support from the National Party.

    "National has already matched Labour's commitment to no interest on student loans," Do says.

    "We look forward to National now matching today's announcement with the same bipartisan commitment to reduce debt on young people and support people as they grow through higher education."

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    A brief overview.

    29 October 2008

    NZ political parties addressing migration in the lead-up to elections

    In the lead-up to the New Zealand government elections next Saturday, the parties have made public their migration policies, reports Stuff.co.nz.
    New Zealand's immigration policy is crucial to the country's economic growth, as hundreds of local businesses rely on foreign labour and overseas skilled workers to fill gaps in the workforce; yet some say immigration needs to be cut back to protect the job opportunities of New Zealanders.

    Winston Peters, NZ First party leader, says prospective migrants flock to the country to enjoy its lifestyle pleasures and take advantage of its excellent working environment, but that by allowing more people to move to New Zealand the government restricts the opportunities for those already living here.

    The current government, the Labour Party, plans to keep its current immigration policy, which allows approximately 50,000 places for migration per year, and a Kiwi-first approach to jobs. Recently the Government made amendments to the Immigration Advisors Act, which requires migration advisors to be licensed before they can give advice to prospective migrants.

    National's policy focuses on bringing overseas Kiwis home and creating New Zealand visa categories to attract more overseas workers to the country. They also want to make it easier for foreign nationals to invest in the country.

    The NZ First party want to slash immigration numbers by 40,000 places and make all new arrivals undertake New Zealand culture courses. They also plan for five-year good behaviour probation periods for migrants.

    The Greens also want to provide New Zealand culture courses for new arrivals, and increase the annual intake of refugees by 33 per cent.

    The Maori Party's policy is yet to be confirmed; however, they are campaigning for compulsory training in New Zealand history and Treaty of Waitangi issues.

    United Future and Progressives want to increase settlement programs, and ACT also wants a five-year good behaviour probationary period for migrants.

    The elections will be held next week, 8 November 2008.

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    Thanks for the articles, MB.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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    What the public is saying about John Key.
    Mother Bear

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    Default Is it all over?

    A miracle is the only thing that can save Labour now
    4:00AM Thursday Nov 06, 2008
    By John Armstrong

    It feels like it is all over, red rover.

    The shouting won't stop completely until campaigning has to come to a halt tomorrow evening. But rarely has the final week of an election campaign been so flat and devoid of any sense of a fight. Rarely has it seemed as if everyone is now merely going through the motions until Saturday finally rolls around.

    That was the case before the last act of the American presidential election relegated its New Zealand counterpart way down yesterday's news bulletins.

    The feeling of fait accompli was apparent before today's Herald-DigiPoll survey, which has a clear majority of voters rating a National-led Government as better equipped than Labour to handle the economy, with even more voters thinking National is going the win the election.

    The prevailing mood was summed up by a reporter's question to John Key yesterday: Did he sense a landslide? The reporter wasn't talking about a Labour one.

    Key wisely declined to take the bait.

    More here.
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    Default wow!

    Just emailed my local NP candidate for immigration policy and got a reply in 10 minutes...

    Tried to get a reply from ones in UK when we lived there without a reply......

    go to it NZ..GOOD ON YA!

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    It's interesting to see how the US & NZ flip opposite of each other. I haven't examined the politics of it all, but simply find it interesting. I wonder how long that trend has been going on - more than 4 years?

    Obama's win here makes it a bit more enticing to stay, but I think we'll still base our decision to go or stay on whether we get a job offer in NZ.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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    Final poll gives it to Key - and his allies
    4:00AM Friday Nov 07, 2008
    By Audrey Young


    Photo / Herald graphic

    There will be a change of Government after tomorrow's election if the Herald-DigiPoll survey taken in the closing days of the campaign is translated to votes.

    It shows National could form a new government with micro-parties Act and United Future. The three parties would have 64 seats between them, two more than the majority needed.

    They would not need the support of the Maori Party to govern, although National leader John Key has said he would try to work with the party even if he did not need it.

    National's support has fallen 2.5 points in the past fortnight to 47.9 per cent.

    It is the first time it has been below 50 per cent since March this year.

    But Mr Key is well ahead as preferred Prime Minister, with 46.2 per cent support, compared to Helen Clark's 41.6 per cent.

    That is a drop of nearly four points for Helen Clark since the last poll a fortnight ago.

    More here.
    Mother Bear

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    Default Today's the day!

    Leaders cast votes in what could be record turnout
    12:01PM Saturday Nov 08, 2008


    Labour leader Helen Clark and National leader John Key vote in the general election. Photos: Glen Jeffrey, NZPA

    Party leaders have cast their votes in today's general election in what could be a record turnout.

    Labour leader Helen Clark and National leader John Key this morning chose schools in their Auckland electorates to give their ticks with other leaders following suit at other booths around the country.

    Doors at New Zealand's 2700 polling stations opened at 9am and close tonight at 7pm.

    Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden is aiming to have half of the results in by 10pm and a final result through by 11.30pm.

    Queues began to form at some polling centres shortly after opening and this together with a record number of advance votes has electoral officials hopeful that the turnout could be a record.

    By 4pm yesterday, 2,979,366 people had enrolled to vote, almost 95 per cent of those eligible, Electoral Enrolment Centre national manager Murray Wicks said.

    In 2005 2,286,190 people voted.

    Mr Peden said the number of advance votes - more than 200,000 - could be significant.

    It is around 30 percent higher than the number of advance votes received in 2005, when 80 per cent of eligible electors voted.

    "One of the questions would be whether people are choosing to advance vote rather than vote on election day, or whether it is just part of a large turnout," he said.

    Counting of the first advance votes will start at 3pm and those results should be known by 8.30pm.

    - NZPA

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