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Immigration isn't about race: Robertson

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/05/2017
Labour leader Grant Robertson. © Getty Images Labour leader Grant Robertson.

Labour will unveil its immigration policy within weeks and the party is making it clear it won't be about individuals or their race.

"Let me be very clear," finance spokesman Grant Robertson told delegates at the party's convention on Saturday.

"This is a debate about policy. It is not a debate about immigrants. And anyone who makes it about immigrants, or indeed about their race, must be called out for what they are doing as being wrong and against the values of Labour and of New Zealanders."

Mr Robertson later told reporters his remarks weren't aimed at NZ First, a persistent critic of the government's immigration policies..

"They were not aimed at anyone," he said.

Party leader Andrew Little has said Labour's aim is to cut the number of immigrants, currently running at over 70,000 a year, by more than 20,000.

Mr Robertson said it needed to be managed carefully.

"Immigration has been, and will continue to be, an important part of adding to our skill base and to the rich cultural diversity that we have - if we manage it well it will improve all of our lives, and that is what we will do."

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