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Labour's immigration plan still weeks away

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/05/2017

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Labour leader Andrew Little has again talked up his party's plans for immigration, but the actual policy is still weeks away.

Last month Mr Little revealed the party would cut immigration by "tens of thousands" and in the intervening weeks has revealed the policy will target certain work and student visas.

But when questioned about the timing of an announcement he said again on Thursday that all would be revealed "in the matter of a few weeks".

"It's pretty much close to. We're in the final polishing stages I'd say at the moment, the last layer of lacquer on it because we know that when it goes in front of the media it needs to be protected against fierce attack," he said.

Labour's front bench has seen the plan, which is expected to include a reduction in at least 20,000 visas.

Mr Little has revealed he intends to target migrant workers coming to do jobs that could be filled by unemployed New Zealanders.

Students completing "low quality" degrees will also be targeted, he has hinted.

The government revealed its own immigration plan in April which includes new remuneration bands for work visa applicants, altering the definition of highly skilled workers.

Work rights for the partners of skilled migrants will also be tightened.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the changes would control the "number and quailty" of people coming to New Zealand.

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