It's a topic you're going to hear a lot about in the coming three months as the politicians try and convince us they've got the policy that'll cure our woes as we head into the ballot box.

Immigration will be more hotly debated this year than it has been for decades when in the past the argument was generally about how many people were leaving the country.

Now we've got almost an equivalent population of Palmerston North coming to this country every year.

And that creates all sorts of pressures, the obvious ones are on schools, hospitals, housing and congestion on our roads and the state of the roads.

The Government recently announced new measures aimed at stemming the flow, like requiring migrants to earn $49,000 a year before they qualify for a skilled migrant visa which will immediately count out many low paid restaurant workers.

Getting points to become a resident will favour those earning even higher salaries and aged in their thirties while those who have lower skills will be allowed to stay for just three years.

So that's National's solution.

Today we'll hear from Labour and how Andrew Little's going to control immigration which he has said needs to be slashed by tens of thousands to give the country a breather.


He said the policy has to target areas where there's a genuine skills shortage.

How that'll affect Labour's plan to build a hundred thousand new houses, let alone coping with the current building boom, is a little difficult to fathom.

It'd be harder though if Winston Peters gets his hands on the migrant drafting gate.

The New Zealand First leader wants the number of people coming to live in this country cut from around 73,000 to between seven and ten thousand.

And when they're here, after being vetted to gauge their attitude, especially from countries who treat women like cattle, Peters would require them to show some patriotism by saluting the flag!

And he'd like to see foreign students sent home after they've finished their education considering, he says, many are graduating with a diploma but are unable to fry an egg.

So immigration and the problems it creates could well define the outcome of the upcoming election.