New Zealanders are unhappy about a surge in immigration into their country, despite – or perhaps because of – it having a population of only 4.5 million people.
Record levels of new arrivals in recent years have led Winston Peters, a populist MP and former foreign minister, to call for an immediate cut.
Now it’s been reported that Andrew Little, leader of the opposition Labour Party, will take up the issue during September’s general election
Mr Little said: “We cannot continue to jam at least 70,000 new people into New Zealand a year, as we have been doing for the last two years. We’re entering the third year of doing so now.”
New Zealand’s economic position is strong at present. The economy grew by 3.6 per cent in 2016 thanks to increasing dairy exports to China, wine to the United States and Europe and record tourism.
Latest statistics show that during the past year New Zealand had a net population gain of 72,000. Britons apparently make up 12 per cent of New Zealand’s arrivals, the largest proportion from any one state.
Mr Peters said that New Zealand was “on a merry-go-around going nowhere with unfocused migration”.
Despite these concerns, the human population has some catching up to do if it is ever to overtake the cow population – the country now has more than 6.5 million dairy cattle.