It is UnitedFuture policy to:
- Develop a 10-year population strategy in government to identify the impact of demographic changes on our society, the economy, and other areas of government policy, and to develop policies to minimise the costs and capitalise on benefits that these changes may bring.
- Prioritise the residency applications of those who have skills we need and a job offer that is relevant to those skills, and regularly update the priority occupations list.
- Devise comprehensive and integrated immigrant settlement programmes, in consultation with the Federation of Ethnic Councils, to ensure that all new immigrants receive full information and ongoing support on all aspects of New Zealand society, including language, customs, job placement programmes, health and social services.
- Focus efforts on ensuring that those who arrive in New Zealand under the family or humanitarian quotas are supported into viable training and employment opportunities, to enable them to obtain financial independence faster and to counter negative stereotypes about some migrant groups.
- Establish a one-stop Business Development Agency to help migrants in setting up their own businesses.
- Encourage all migrants to consider themselves as New Zealanders, by encouraging participation in community activities and pursuits amongst migrant groups, while supporting ethnic associations and providing positive opportunities for all New Zealanders to express their cultural heritage.
- Establish a retirement visa to allow parents of permanent residents and citizens to be sponsored to settle in New Zealand, provided the majority of immediate family members are already resident in New Zealand.
- Allow siblings of permanent residents and citizens more easy access to short-term visitors and limited purpose visas.
- Provide additional staffing resources to the Immigration Service to meet customer demand and speed up the applications process, especially in Auckland and at pressure points overseas.
- Increase resources for ESOL programmes to ensure that our newest residents can participate fully in education and life in New Zealand. Improving English language skills is a major factor in making friends outside migrants’ own ethnic groups. Move away from classroom-based delivery to home tutoring or work-based lessons and give intensive English training for teachers already in immigrant communities so they can set up their own classes.
- Review the operations of NZQA to ensure that the process of formally recognising migrants’ skills is effective and efficient.
- Ensure that advice and information is available to businesses to support them in hiring migrants to fill skill shortages, and support migrants with workshops and training to learn about the Kiwi work environment.
- Develop a global online service that matches potential skilled migrants with job opportunities in New Zealand to help fill critical skill shortages.
- Take a proactive approach to skills shortages through promotional events in overseas target markets with high proportions of skilled people.
- Establish a specific employment placement service for refugees.
- Establish a nationally coordinated “mentor” programme whereby all those accepted for migration to New Zealand are put in touch with a trained volunteer mentor prior to arrival in New Zealand. The mentor will, through the process of preparing to migrate and the first 12 months within New Zealand be able to discuss settlement issues and direct migrants to necessary specialist resources.