If you want evidence that Winston Peters is not running this Government, New Zealand's migration rate is your smoking gun.

A year and a half on from an election campaign in which immigration was blamed for soaring house prices, crowded roads and inflating National's economic success, the annual net migration number is back near record levels.

The Coalition Government, under pressure from business to address serious labour shortages, has backed away from plans for a dramatic reduction.

It is still promising change, but not quickly and not necessarily in the actual number of arrivals.

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"There is no Government target for

Historic boom

Policy moves

Skill shortages

Populist backlash

Where to next

The new numbers