A cut to the number of people allowed to migrate to New Zealand is one of the bigger changes on the minds of business commentators given Winston Peters holds the balance of power for the next Government.

NZ First's policy, according to its website, is to reduce the number of migrants coming to this country to about 10,000 people each year.

That would be a stark change from existing levels of around 72,000 and would take even more heat out of an already stalled housing market.

Migration has been helping underpin New Zealand's economy and much of the strong GDP growth forecast for the next two years seems predicated on it remaining high.


With the vote counted, Peters is in the role of kingmaker and it appears he will decide who makes up the incoming government.

Salt Funds Management's Matt Goodson said a policy change on immigration would impact the housing market and could also be an issue for listed retirement village operators.

Employers and Manufacturers Association chief executive Kim Campbell was sceptical that immigration would be reduced if NZ First is part of the next Government.

"We're not building infrastructure quickly enough. And I don't care what Winston says -we're going to need a lot of people to get this done. Immigration is going to continue anyway."

While a cut to immigration was a worry, BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said there was a counter-balance at play.

"Winston's about regional economic development and he knows that one of the things driving that at the moment is immigration and if he wants to be seen as supporting regional growth, immigration will be a part of that," Hope said.

"The other and possibly more significant issue will be on trade. We have the opportunity at the moment with respect with TPP11 to get a pretty high quality deal over the line for New Zealand...I think we need to continue to support that. Some of the components that NZ First have raised in terms of their concerns about TPP could be addressed without having to unravel the deal," he said