Politics is a numbers game in more ways than one, if you don't have the numbers then you don't get to make decisions.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that migration is also a numbers game, the higher the numbers are the more red faced those are who control the numbers to govern.

It's easy to blame all sorts of woes on those who're coming here to live. It's true they bring pressure on all the essential services, not the least having a roof over our heads.

Add to the mix the number of Kiwis who're deciding to stay at home rather than heading off overseas. A few years ago there were well over 30 thousand more kiwis leaving than staying, that's now reduced to a trickle, again bringing pressure on things that we tend to take for granted.

Advertisement

Labour's come up with it recipe for taking the pressure off, directing its energy at foreign students who in reality don't add all that much to the usual pressures, other than being housed and maybe taking jobs that most kiwis don't seem to be that interested in anyway.

But that's not to say that we shouldn't be looking more closely at what is a liberal policy when it comes to students coming here, drawn by their ability to work for up to 20 hours a week, and if they graduate with the sort of skill we're after, they can stay for four years, or even permanently.

Labour's discriminating against those who study in what they call, low value courses, those that return little to the country, like an ability to fry and egg.

If you ever had any doubt about the growing number of foreigners staying on to live here after graduating though, then get a load of figures out recently.

Of all skilled migrants working here in 2006, former foreign students made up 27 percent of them, two years ago it'd grown to 43 percent and it's predicted to climb to 48 percent in three years time.

And they're doing their bit to keep New Zealand a low wage economy it seems.

The figures show that when compared to Kiwi graduates, former foreign students earn less in every category, except health. If they're working in commerce or management, after eight years, they generally still earn less than the $49,000 cap that the current Government considers makes them skilled enough to give them points for permanent residency.

But if foreign students start believing they can get a better deal elsewhere, they just may start looking and what'll that do to the $4 billion we earn from them coming to study here every year?