Borders and migration
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen global travel grind to a halt, and the number of arrivals into New Zealand slow to its lowest level since the 1960s. How the country manages its borders is now a major election issue, especially as pressure mounts around reopening the border.
Immigration has been restricted by the current government but some parties say NZ should limit immigration even further. Others say skills and labour from overseas is exactly what the country needs to help the economy recover from Covid-19.
Borders and quarantine
With few exceptions, only citizens and permanent residents can cross the border, and those who do arrive must spend 14 days in managed isolation. The current government recently decided to start charging some arrivals for their isolation costs – a decision that sparked criticism from many New Zealanders living overseas.
The current government doubled New Zealand's refugee quota to 1,500 refugees a year. But pressure is building on the system as the number of displaced people worldwide increases due to conflict and climate change.