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Immigration will be key campaign issue: PM

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/05/2017

Prime Minister Bill English believes immigration is going to be a key election campaign issue, and he's backing himself against opposition parties.

Net migration has been running at record levels and both Labour and NZ First have policies to reduce it.

Mr English was asked at his post-cabinet press conference on Monday whether he believed the country could cope over the next few years.

"I think that's going to be a key issue in the campaign and we believe New Zealand can adjust to being a growing economy with a growing population," he said.

"Our political opponents think New Zealand isn't up to that, it's too hard, and the solution is to shut down growth by closing off international investment, getting out of international trade, closing down migration and settling for some kind of grey, low growth mediocrity."

The government "unashamedly" believed in New Zealand's capacity to handle a growing economy," he said.

"Our opponents unashamedly think that New Zealand isn't up to it."

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