Monday October 23, 2017   Last updated 04:33AM
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Immigration surge shows need for job training

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Outgoing New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone says any incoming Government needs to find a recipe for growth that doesn’t rely on unconstrained immigration.

Statistics New Zealand says a record 132,200 migrants came into the country in the year to August.

Immigration is one of the factors behind its prediction people of Asian origin will be a greater proportion of the population than Maori by 2023.

Mr Paraone, whose position on the party list means he just missed out on getting back into parliament, says when New Zealand First leader Winston Peters first questioned immigration policy he was accused of being xenophobic.

But more people now realise immigration has costs as well as benefits.

"We tend not to be looking after our own populace here and becoming more reliant on overseas interests to prop up our economy and therein lies the challenge for any incoming Government, to ensure the gaps we have in skill needs are addressed and not just open our doors to mass immigration," Mr Paraone says.

The results of the 380,000 special votes will be known tomorrow afternoon, and next week New Zealand First will start talks to see whether it will go into coalition with either National or the Labour-Greens bloc.

FULL INTERVIEW PITA PARAONE

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