Migration not enough to build sustainable economy

The Green Party is calling on the Government to embrace low-carbon economic development opportunities, because economic growth from record migration and the runaway Auckland housing market is unsustainable.

“High migration is part of National’s facade of economic prosperity – migration-driven economic activity is part of what’s hiding the fact that National’s economic policies are failing,” said Green Party finance spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

Statistics NZ has released monthly migration statistics that show a record net gain of 60,300 migrants in the year to August 2015.

“If we take away the economic activity caused by migration, Auckland’s dangerous house price inflation, and the Christchurch rebuild, there’s no real substance to National’s economy,” Ms Genter said.

“GDP might still be growing, albeit slowly, but hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders aren’t seeing any net positive effect on their lives – including the 148,000 people who are out of work.

“Falling consumer confidence shows that many New Zealanders want the Government to provide a new economic direction, according to Westpac.

“Migration at sustainable levels is a good thing, but the Government needs to invest in smart infrastructure to support low-carbon prosperity and the growing population.

“High-quality, medium-density housing and improved public transport will create jobs and improve our quality of life. National is taking us in the opposite direction.

“If we invest in making our cities smart and liveable, innovative high-value businesses will choose to locate there,” said Ms Genter.