Migrant inquiries rising

Clare Curran.
Clare Curran.
Dunedin South MP Clare Curran is dealing with more immigration inquiries than ever as the number of people moving to Dunedin from overseas increases.

Statistics New Zealand figures released yesterday showed 12 of 16 New Zealand regions had a net gain in international migrants in the year to May.

As expected, Auckland had the most with 17,000, followed by Canterbury on 5400, Otago with 900 and Wellington on 800.

Ms Curran told the Otago Daily Times more people were visiting her office with problems relating to family reunification and refugee issues.

She praised the Dunedin City Council for helping deal with the settlement issues but said she had dealt with some ''tough and serious issues'' lately.

''I have seen an increase in migration-related matters coming through the office. But I rate very highly the community work in Dunedin for people trying to adjust to settlement here, finding their way through the system, finding jobs and getting their kids settled at school.''

Dunedin was an attractive destination for migrants because of its size and available infrastructure, Ms Curran said.

She believed Dunedin needed 10,000 more citizens to be a fully functional city and some of those people would come through migration.

There was an issue around job availability, but immigrants brought with them a strong work ethic and were grateful to be able to live and work in the city.

''The Dunedin region can cope with more people without putting undue pressure on resources, such as we see in Auckland,'' Ms Curran said.

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