A new poll shows an increase in support for cutting the number of foreign workers into New Zealand - but a majority of voters still believe current numbers or even more were fine.

In the One News Colmar Brunton poll, 38 per cent of respondents said New Zealand should let in fewer migrants - up 11 points from six months ago when the same poll question was asked in April.

While 44 per cent still believed the current numbers were about right that was a seven point drop from the 51 per cent in April.

Thirteen percent wanted more migrants to come, down from 18 percent. Overall, 57 per cent supported current levels or more migrants.


Immigration has been an increasingly hot topic at a time of record net migration, reaching 69,000 in the year to July.

The spike in those concerned shows Opposition parties could be getting traction from calls to cut numbers because of the strain population growth puts on housing, jobs and infrastructure.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse told One News the poll showed a majority either thought the current level was fine or more migrants should come which showed the Government had it about right.

The poll of 1,013 voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 and was taken from September 3 to 7.

During the polling period Prime Minister John Key defended bringing workers from overseas for seasonal work such as fruit picking, saying employers told him many local workers were unreliable or failed drug tests.

The Government is about to review migration settings and while Key has acknowledged the stress it puts on housing and infrastructure he claimed it was good for economic growth and to bring in needed workers.

7 Sep, 2016 7:00am
3 minutes to read

NZ First and Labour have called for migrant numbers to be trimmed to help reduce pressure on housing, jobs and infrastructure. NZ First leader Winston Peters wants net migration capped at 12,000 a year.

Woodhouse said a drastic cut could impact on areas such as the primary sector or the Christchurch rebuild.