Speaking to Radio NZ, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the tightening of the parental category visa is a direct result of the Party’s coalition negotiations with the Labour Party.
He said the new changes switch the financial onus from the parent moving to New Zealand to the child sponsor, and almost doubles the income test.
"Where in the world can you decide to go and take your parents as well? That's the reality here,'' Mr Peters said.
“Only when a skilled migrant is living in New Zealand, who is critical to the workforce, and is in demand internationally does it make sense to allow them to bring a parent in,” he added.
"It is a significant tightening up of the parental visa scheme. What we had here was up to 31 percent of the so-called sponsors having left this country to go off to other countries, including Australia, and leaving the cost to the taxpayers.''
Mr Peters said that NZ First pushed for changes to the New Zealand immigration system
"We asked for a proper re-evaluation of immigration into this country and in particular in regards to OECD reports pointing out New Zealand was not taking skilled immigration, in fact quite the reverse,” the NZ First leader added.
"All those things we took to the table and that's why the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, the parental category and the criteria to come to this country has been significantly tightened up and the figures are beginning to demonstrate that”.