Immigration Policy: A Steady Convergence: Stephen Hoadley Finds Fundamental Similarities between Australia's and New Zealand's Immigration and Refugee Policies. (Immigration)

By Hoadley, Stephen | New Zealand International Review, January-February 2003 | Go to article overview

Immigration Policy: A Steady Convergence: Stephen Hoadley Finds Fundamental Similarities between Australia's and New Zealand's Immigration and Refugee Policies. (Immigration)


Hoadley, Stephen, New Zealand International Review


Immigration issues tend to generate more heat than light. This is so whether they erupt in New Zealand, in Australia, or between New Zealand and Australia. Conceptual clarification and focus are needed. This essay concentrates on New Zealand and Australian immigration policies, particularly those on which the two governments have allegedly differed.

But before turning to specific differences, it is important to establish the over-arching conclusion that New Zealand and Australia pursue broadly similar immigration policies. (1)

* Both governments regard immigration as a necessary instrument to maintain economic growth, mainly to replace departures and fill specific needs.

* Both governments seek economically productive immigrants, chosen by criteria such as education, skills, experience, wealth, youth, health, character, and English language ability.

* Both also accept migrants on humanitarian grounds, including family reunion and refugee protection.

* Both governments' immigration policies are guided by international and domestic law, administered by impartial civil servants, and checked by statutory tribunals and civil courts.

* But in both countries immigration policies are influenced also by partisan debate, interest group agitation, media hype, and ministerial discretion.

Thus immigration policies are derived from economic needs, international humanitarian obligations, legal principles, and administrative processes ... all coloured by politics. This is as true in Australia as it is in New Zealand, with variations, to which we turn below.

During much of the past century, debate has been sparked by the racial origins of the prospective migrants, especially in Australia but also in New Zealand in more muted fashion. Europeans were explicitly favoured with subsidies, Asians were discouraged by poll taxes, and Pacific Islanders were regarded with ambivalence, tolerated and repelled in phase with economic growth cycles. However, since the 1980s immigration policy has been officially colour-blind in both countries. Encouraging a healthy ethnic mix and regional balance is still informal policy, but explicit selection of migrants, or criticism of the outcomes, on racial grounds has become all but taboo.

With race officially excluded from permissible debate, immigration issues since the 1980s have flared up over four new policy questions.

Family reunion

The first issue was family reunion. This issue was triggered by high Pacific. Islands migration rates caused by established immigrants sponsoring members of their extended families. Islanders tended to have fewer economic skills and higher unemployment rates than migrants from Europe or Asia. Those who came as tourists or temporary workers tended to overstay more often. In the 1990s both governments responded by tightening regulations, and Pacific migration slowed.

New Zealand governments, however, maintained open entry for Cook Islanders, Niueans, and Tokelauans, a quota for Samoans, and occasional anmesties for overstayers. These policies alarmed conservative Australians, who feared that the Pacific Islanders would migrate to Australia and burden the job market and welfare system. The Trans Tasman Travel Agreement (TTTA) permits unimpeded movement and residence; so when Islanders achieve New Zealand citizenship they are fully entitled to move across the Tasman. Australian alarmists periodically propose to reduce the scope of the TTTA, so government leaders in both countries have had to exert energy to counter this retrograde move.

Migration rate

The second issue was the rate of migration. Critics contended that rapid inflow would create unassimilated ghettos, social strife, and strain on public services. The most prominent critic for a decade has been Winston Peters, leader of the New Zealand First Party. His electoral success in 1996 and again in 2001 is widely attributed to his ability to voice the fears of elderly and insecure New Zealanders, and Maori, that their values and position in society would be undermined by an influx of foreigners.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Immigration Policy: A Steady Convergence: Stephen Hoadley Finds Fundamental Similarities between Australia's and New Zealand's Immigration and Refugee Policies. (Immigration)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.