A new political party wants to reopen the parent category and "last family member" visa categories.

The New Zealand People's Party has today launched its immigration policy and a website, ahead of the September 23 election.

The party was launched by Auckland businessman Roshan Nauhria ahead of last December's Mt Roskill byelection, where Nauhria secured just over 4 per cent of the vote.

It now has its sights set on the general election, in a political climate when National has tightened immigration settings and Labour and NZ First are calling for big reductions in arrival numbers.


The party's immigration policy is to reopen the parent resident visa category, which Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse temporarily stopped in October. Under the category, migrants had to agree to financially support parents for five years if they move to New Zealand.

Woodhouse said too many were failing to do so and this was costing taxpayers. The People's Party said there were flaws in the old system, and it would grant parents a five-year work visa, after which time they could apply for permanent residency.

United families were good for the wider economy, the party said, and removing negative perceptions would empower immigrants and lead to a stronger, friendlier New Zealand.

Another main plank of the policy is to reopen the last family member visa, which was closed in 2012. This was a "huge loss" to immigrants, the party said, and it should be restarted but with the resources to ensure associated working visas can be quickly processed.

On international education, the People's Party wants all education providers and courses to be evaluated to address the "growing pains" the industry has experienced and ensure quality.

Lastly, changes should be made so any visitor visa is automatically granted if the sponsoring family member is a citizen or permanent resident with a clean sponsorship history.

Nauhria told the Herald the party didn't want to increase immigration levels, but believed it was beneficial for all New Zealanders to properly look after the people who had already arrived.

Allowing more family reunification would mean families were more likely to bring all their assets and wealth to New Zealand, which would drive investment. Nauhria said he had workers at his factory who owned property in India worth millions.


On Saturday Green Party co-leader James Shaw apologised for the way he last year announced his party's policy to cap migration at 1 per cent of population growth, and said the Greens had now abandoned that policy and were focused on steering the debate towards values, not numbers.