Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Labour announces 'immigration policy' that could impact on housing prices and supply.

I was aware that Labour was tinkering with its immigration  policy, possibly in response to public concern about the supply and demand re housing. Immigrants could be an easy target and judging by some of the callers  ringing in for Talkback radio (a real good judge re the accuracy on issues ,eh!) Ok there were the usual extreme reaction from all corners of the argument but some callers were really off the mark. One in particular, had been in NZ for 12 years and made the point that he had been paying taxes etc. and received all the benefits that citizens get apart from the obvious. He laboured his point and showed his misunderstanding of Labour's policy when he made the leap that he couldn't buy a house because he was 'resident,' but not a citizen, something he will never do because he wants to retain his cultural links with his homeland. His kids of course, are NZ citizens by right of birth. What gets me about his argument is his strongly held belief that he will never get NZ citizenship.
I say that we should allow  about 7 years of residency then either the applicant applies for citizenship or moves on. We want people to make the 'emotional' investment in our country, not just the financial. We need Kiwis to be just that, albeit  from a multitude of nations. I like the diversity but I also demand a loyalty to the NZ way, which entails the new addition other cultures bring. NZ is of course evolving as a result of this enriching movement of people.
The guy was wrong in his understanding of Labour's policy announcement. They say that only NZ Citizens and Residents should be able to buy property in NZ; something many other countries do. He should have listened to the policy before going off in ait, something the 'talkback host implied but did not say; oh so polite Kerre!
Let's keep the debate rational and use facts not fiction to feed our opinions. The debate around housing needs to happen and Labour's policy is a good beginning, although I suspect that NZ First may be claiming a 'me too,' position as they have ben saying this for many election cycles and Labour will have to come to terms with the 'king-maker' if they ever want to win the Government benches.