Hon Lockwood Smith
National Party Immigration Spokesman
25 October 2006
Seasonal permits must be faithfully policed
The National Party is seeking an assurance that a programme allowing Pacific Islanders into New Zealand on short-term
work permits will be faithfully policed.
Immigration Minister David Cunliffe announced today that Pacific Island workers will be eligible to work in New Zealand
on seasonal work permits to fill vacancies in horticulture and viticulture when no New Zealanders are available.
“National is deeply concerned about the skills shortage, particularly with regard to the seasonal workforce, but
Labour’s track record with immigration, and overstayers especially, is woeful,” says National’s Immigration spokesman,
The Immigration Service estimates there are about 20,000 overstayers resident in New Zealand at any given time.
Dr Smith says he wants an assurance that workers on this scheme will be monitored closely and deported promptly if they
do not leave when their permit expires.
“New Zealand needs these workers to help ease the seasonal skills shortage, but it must be a two way street – if they
breach our immigration laws they must be shown the door smartly.”