Immigration numbers up in the air leaving thousands in limbo
A thorny decision is lurking for the coalition Government as it starts to draw up how many new residents it will allow. The Government lowered the numbers to 50 to 60-thousand new residents when it set the last 18 month programme. Immigration figures show the lower end of that target has not yet been reached and it expires next month. That's because there are 35-thousand unprocessed residence applications. Ministers have now started discussions on the next residence programme. With New Zealand First saying it will continue its push to curb immigration as it enters election year, that has left would-be residents - and their employers - desperate for news on whether the targets will be loosened or tightened. An immigration adviser, David Cooper, told our reporter Gill Bonnett many of them have been waiting up to 13 months for a decision and are losing patience.