Telephone:
+64 9 359 9319

Fax:
+64 9 359 9189

Physical Address:
Unit 2M, Level 2
55-57 High Street
Auckland City
Auckland, New Zealand

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 99606
Newmarket
Auckland, New Zealand

Immigration Blog

REGULAR POSTS FROM NEW ZEALAND & AUSTRALIA

Who is going to look after me?

A few years ago I was asked what I believed was the biggest future challenge facing New Zealand by a young man in Durban. Having told him I thought that was the most interesting and thoughtful question I'd ever been asked, I thought about it for a while. What do ...

Iain

Share this post

Who is going to look after me?

A few years ago I was asked what I believed was the biggest future challenge facing New Zealand by a young man in Durban. Having told him I thought that was the most interesting and thoughtful question I'd ever been asked, I thought about it for a while. What do ...

Iain

Share this post

Who is going to look after me?

Posted by Iain on Sept. 6, 2019, 5:29 p.m. in New Zealand

A few years ago I was asked what I believed was the biggest future challenge facing New Zealand by a young man in Durban. Having told him I thought that was the most interesting and thoughtful question I'd ever been asked, I thought about it for a while.

What do you think my answer was?

Climate change?

Earthquakes?

China taking over the world? Unemployment?

Youth suicide? Gangs?

Drug and alcohol abuse?

Nope. My answer was the economic and social challenges of a rapidly ageing population.

Like most developed economies we have small families. We average slightly under two children per family now and for a population to grow you need at least three. Two represents long term population decline if you have zero net migration.

As the baby boomer generation barrels toward retirement it has long been clear to me that our commitment to socialised health care, where our needs are overwhelmingly paid out of general taxation, is going to require more and more money paid for out of a potentially declining tax base - yet no Government seems to be addressing the issue. Obviously a shrinking population does not get ‘poorer’ and the tax does not need to fall if those that are in the workforce produce more income on a per capita basis.

New Zealand however shows no sign of increasing productivity. Like other similar countries productivity is pretty much stagnant. In future we are going to spend more as a percentage of government spending on healthcare (but equally at the same time we won't need to spend as much on public education as there will be fewer children to teach).

Our labour needs are going to change. Right now our immigration policy seeks to attract highly skilled people yet our future needs will probably be fewer teachers, accountants, marketers and carpenters and more Doctors, mental health professionals, Pharmacists and nurse aids along with hospital orderlies.

To date there is little if any account being taken of our future labour needs and how immigration policy fits into that. Every immigration policy change continues to focus on a politically acceptable immigrant - one with higher skill levels rather as opposed to possibly being able to fill a labour shortage.

Who says the only good (and valuable) migrant is one with a university degree?

This needs to change and change quickly. Public policy should be looking at our labour and skill (for they are not the same thing) needs 10, 20 and 30 years out and at the very least a conversation started about what our future immigrant might look like (if we are not going to or able to train up our own to fill the vacancies being created).

My mother in law has dementia and two weeks ago fell and broke her hip. Almost all those treating her in the (wonderful) public hospital were foreign born and trained - the Doctors, the nurses, the nurse aids. There’s always a pathway to residence for the doctors (if they will put up with the Medical Council and their protectionist practices) and the nurses (with Bachelor degrees) but those on the next skill level ‘rung’ can get work visas but they do not have a pathway to residence. As we start thinking about longer term institutional care for her, our family is starting to take these issues very seriously. I am sure she will be fine, the public system right now is equipped to cope but when, in 20 to 30 years time we have four times the number of dementia sufferers and one of them could be me, will we have made the plans to ensure we have the workforce to take care of us?

It’ll require very different immigration policies than what we have today.

Until next week

Share this post

Tags:
New Zealand

2 comments on this post
Sept. 8, 2019, 9:41 p.m. by Yvdb4788

Absolutely love and appreciate your writing. You are refreshingly and potently honest,bold and write with a transparency that is gravely missing from the times we live in.

You seem unafraid to speak that which "shouldnt be mentioned" and it takes backbone and integrity to do so in a society that loves to keep up the pretence and dirt swept under the carpet. Thank you.

Reply to this comment
Sept. 9, 2019, 3:48 p.m. by Angeline Loh

Thanks, that's an interesting and important fact to take into account. I haven't seen any government do long-term labour projections into the future considering the health care needs of an aging population that a number of countries are currently facing. That was a brilliant question with a brilliant answer.

Reply to this comment

Make a comment on this post










 

It's just a thought...

Attend a

FREE SEMINAR

Attend a seminar as a starting point to learn more about the lifestyle of each country, their general migration process and a broad overview of Visa categories.

Register here

Do I stand a chance?

Complete a

FREE PRELIMINARY EVALUATION

Have a preliminary evaluation to establish which Visa category may suit you and whether it’s worth your while ordering a comprehensive Full Assessment.

Free Preliminary Evaluation

I'm ready to talk strategy

Complete a

FULL ASSESSMENT

Let us develop your detailed strategy, timeline and pricing structure in-person or on Skype. Naturally, a small cost applies for this full and comprehensive assessment.

Full Assessment

Who is going to look after me?
STAY CONNECTED

Join over 35,000 people who subscribe to our weekly newsletters for up to date migration, lifestyle and light-hearted updates

CONTACT US
Auckland, New Zealand

Level 2, 55-57 High Street, Auckland, New Zealand

+64 9 359 9319 | Contact Form

Melbourne, Australia

Level 2, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

+61 3 9628 2555 | Contact Form

LICENSING
New Zealand

All of our advisers are individually licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA)

Click here for details

Australia

All of our advisers are individually licensed by the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA)

Click here for details