Weekend Sun column

Friday, July 31, 2015

It was fantastic to have the Prime Minister in town this week to open the Tauranga Eastern Link. One of the Government’s seven Roads of National Significance, this is the largest roading project the Bay of Plenty has ever seen.

The opening was ahead of this Saturday’s Community Day, where the public can cycle along the route from 8am to 10am or walk along it from 10:30am. I expect that there will be plenty of interest and I look forward to using the road once it is open to traffic.

At the recent National Party Annual Conference the Prime Minister announced some immigration reforms designed to encourage migrants to settle in regions across New Zealand. The goal is to make sure the valuable skills, labour and capital they bring can benefit regions outside of Auckland.

From 1 November the number of points offered to Skilled Migrants applying for residence with a job offer outside of Auckland will be boosted from 10 to 30. These migrants will be required to commit to a region for a minimum of twelve months, rather than the current three months.

Entrepreneurs who set up businesses in the regions under the Entrepreneur Work Visa will now get 40 rather than 20 of the 120 points they require for residency. These are migrants with high-level business experience who establish a new business or take over and commit to growing an existing business in the regions. It will boost investment and jobs, and increase innovative and high-growth businesses with export potential operating throughout the country.

National is committed to ensuring that the benefits of migration are spread across New Zealand and helping our regions grow.