How many people come to NZ, and why they come here, has become a hot-button issue this election. Some say immigration is putting too much pressure on housing and labour markets, and that NZ lacks the infrastructure to deal with population growth. And with a refugee crisis unfolding around the world, NZ’s refugee quota has also come under scrutiny.
Since 1987 New Zealand has committed to accepting about 750 refugees each year. The Government plans to increase the quota to 1,000 in future, and accept 600 refugees from Syria on a one-off basis. But with climate change making parts of the Pacific uninhabitable, some say NZ should take more.
Net migration to NZ in the last year was a record 73,000 people. This number is affected by the rules governing how long people can stay in NZ, and how they can become permanent residents or citizens.