Bleak’ outlook without immigration: Coleman
Last updated 12:21 03/11/2009

Immigration contributes significantly to every New Zealander's per capita income, new research shows.

The Department of Labour's International Migration Settlement and Employment Dynamics research showed that "without immigration, the outlook is bleak", Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said.

Without current levels of immigrants moving to New Zealand, the population would drop by 9.6 percent and gross domestic profit (GDP) by 11.3 percent by 2021.

At the current 20,000 annual net flow, annual GDP would be an extra $28 billion by 2021.

Double the number of immigrants, 40,000, would see GDP per capita rise 1.5 percent.

Dr Coleman said government policy had to "continue to focus on economic gains from immigration".

There was also intense focus on improving the service provided by Immigration New Zealand, he said.

The research found that, in general, immigration reduced production costs, improved competitiveness of New Zealand goods and services, benefited consumer spending and domestic investment and resulted in higher revenues for the government.

The research also showed New Zealand needed unskilled as well as skilled immigrants.

Favouring high-skilled migrants did not appear to to significantly increase the overall benefits, it said.

"When an economy grows labour is required at all levels."

NZPA

From here.