ACT fact check on PM’s migrant-bashing


“The Prime Minister’s continued scapegoating of migrants for the housing crisis and for placing pressure on public services runs counter to the evidence”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.


Jacinda Ardern has in recent days reiterated her position that migrants are pushing up house prices and are placing a heavy burden on New Zealand infrastructure.


Let’s check her claims against the official advice her Government has received.


1. Migrants are placing ‘unsustainable pressure’ on infrastructure.


Her Immigration Minister has been shown NZIER research which found that positive net immigration ‘lowers average per capita costs of high fixed cost physical infrastructure (such as motorways)’.


Migrants support public infrastructure because they pay so much more in tax than they take in government spending.


Migrants ‘net fiscal impact in 2013 totalled $2.9 billion’. Each migrant contributed $2653 more in taxes than they received in public expenditure. Compare that to a net fiscal impact for each New Zealander of $172.


2. Migrants have ‘contributed to the housing crisis’.


Immigration officials also cited MBIE-commissioned research from 2016 which found that immigration into Auckland is ‘likely to have had a relatively small impact on house prices’ compared to other factors.


What of migrants’ other contributions to our economy?


Immigration has ‘increased GDP per capita by around 1.8 per cent’ and has boosted trade and innovation. There is also ’no conclusive evidence that migrant labour is displacing local labour or suppressing wages’.


“Migrants are a critical part of our economic success. The Prime Minister’s migrant-bashing is not only fact-free, it is also deeply embarrassing”, says Mr Seymour.