There is virtually NO objection in Australia to “Pakeha” (white) immigrants from New Zealand but Australioa also gets a large number of Maori — who have high rates of criminality, child abuse and welfare dependency. All unspoken below, of course

New Zealand migration to Australia would be slashed under a federal Labor MP’s plan to curb our population growth. Outspoken Melbourne MP Kelvin Thomson believes the open-door policy for Kiwis made it impossible for Australia to control its numbers and maintain quality of life. “The trans-Tasman travel arrangement with New Zealand would need to be renegotiated to do away with the open door,” he said yesterday.

Australia’s migrant intake is at record levels, with almost a quarter of the influx due to New Zealanders who have an automatic right to live here, the Herald Sun reports.

Mr Thomson said there should be a cap on Kiwi arrivals that was linked to the number of permanent departures from Australia each year. “This would give Australia control over our net migration number, which we presently don’t have,” he said.

In a challenge to his leader, PM Kevin Rudd, Mr Thomson last night spelled out the details of his plan to deal with the population explosion. “Population is now a runaway train,” he said in a speech to a community group in North Melbourne. Mr Thomson called for annual net immigration to be slashed from more than 200,000 now to just 70,000. This would stabilise the population at 26 million by 2050, instead of the 35 million predicted by the Government.

Under the Thomson plan:

* SKILLED migrant numbers would be cut from 114,000 to 25,000 a year and refugees would rise by 6000 to 20,000.

* THE baby bonus would be abolished and family payments cut to lower the fertility rate.

Mr Thomson, who heads the Parliament’s joint standing committee on treaties, said his measures would stop Australia wrecking the environment and force governments to focus on education and training. “They would address the declining quality of life in our cities, the traffic congestion and the disappearing back yards and open spaces,” he said.

Monash University population expert Dr Bob Birrell said Mr Thomson’s proposals were refreshing and realistic. “Population policy is not made in heaven, it’s determined by government policy and, currently, Labor policy is to run record high migration,” he said.

Despite concern about urban congestion and water shortages, Mr Rudd recently said he was a “big Australia” man. “I make no apology for that. I actually think it’s good news that our population is growing. I think it’s good … for our national security long term, it’s good in terms of what we can sustain as a nation,” he said.