According to Ruth Dyson, New Zealand Labour Party spokesperson on immigration, New Zealand is in dire need of moreskilled immigration. There are skills shortages in many areas of the New Zealand economy. Immigration is good for the New Zealand economy. Government research suggests that even at existing immigration levels there will be a gain of $28 billion to the New Zealand economy by 2021.

Dyson feels that Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman’s stance on immigration is detrimental to the Kiwi economy.

“The Minister’s response seems to be that we have an increasing number of unemployed, therefore we should reduce the number of people coming to New Zealand from overseas,” Dyson said. “This is an extremely shallow and damaging analysis.”

“This is too important for short term thinking. We need to retain and attract the skills that we need to build a strong New Zealand for the future,” she added.

Recent government statistics show that in the year to May 2011, Skilled Migrant Category applications were down by 5,150 compared to the same period the previous year.

Temporary work visa applications are also declining. During the the year to May 2011, visas under the Essential Skills scheme were down by 7,201, a significant drop compared to the previous year.