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WELLINGTON, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government on Tuesday announced new curbs on the number of immigrants to the country, following a long-running debate over the effect of migration on the economy.
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the changes to the New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) for the next two years were part of a regular review of the numbers, but opposition lawmakers said the government was running scared of public opinion polls.
The changes included temporarily closing the parent category to new applications-a measure that will directly affect a huge number of Chinese parents wanting to live with their migrant offspring.
However, Woodhouse's statement did not detail how temporary the closure would be.
Overall the number of residence approvals for the next two years would be cut from 90,000-100,000 down to 85,000-95,000.
The government was also raising the requirements for skilled migrants and cutting the number of places for capped family categories from 5,500 to 2,000.
"Migrants make a valuable contribution to New Zealand both culturally and economically, and the government periodically reviews all our immigration settings to make sure they are working as intended," Woodhouse said.
"Today's announcement demonstrates the government is taking a responsible, pragmatic approach to managing immigration."
While, economic forecasters including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand have credited migration with bolstering the country's healthy economic growth, others have questioned whether the infrastructure is coping with record numbers of migrants.
The concerns have fuelled disquiet over issues such as the worsening housing crisis, which is rippling out from the largest city of Auckland.
The opposition New Zealand First party said the government had been panicked by polls on immigration and had suddenly reversed its stance that the country's immigration settings were about right.
"The plain fact is after years of denial, their polling is telling them the public are concerned," New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said in a statement.
The government had "created a massive problem" by bringing in huge numbers of unskilled migrants, and the parent category meant their parents had "flooded in also," straining the provision of housing, health and education, said Peters.
"Over 15 years we have taken in over 87,000 parent migrants who have no requirements to contribute to the economy while they receive free access to public health immediately, and superannuation after just 10 years here," he said.
The business lobby group, Business New Zealand, said the changes were an encouraging sign of progress towards a migration system that benefited the workforce and the country generally.
"It is positive that the government has taken on board some of the concerns of employers regarding the skill base of those achieving permanent residency status," Business New Zealand chief executive Kirk Hope said in a statement.
ROME Cheap Men's Air Max 97 All Black , Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Italian Riccardo Muti quit as first conductor of the Rome Opera, media reported on Monday.
The 73-year-old director has decided to withdraw from the productions of Verdi's Aida and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which were planned to be on stage in November and in spring 2015 respectively.
In a letter addressed to the general director of Rome Opera Carlos Fuortes Cheap Men's Air Max 97 Ultra Triple Black Shoes , Muti wrote that "there are no conditions to ensure the serenity necessary to me to lead successful productions."
The main reasons behind this step would be long-standing difficulties linked to state and city funding, and ongoing labor strife within the Rome Opera, whose latest seasons have been often disrupted by workers' strikes and tensions between unions and management.
His decision came as a severe blow for Italian cultural authorities. Minister of Cultural Heritage Dario Franceschini said he understood the reasons behind "the director's painful decision Cheap Men's Air Max 97 Silver Grey Red ," and spoke with bitter disappointment about the internal strife at the Rome Opera.
"I hope this decision will at least open the eyes of all those who are hampering, with cooperative and self-destructive opposition, the change Italian opera have been waiting for too long Cheap Air Max 97 Summit White Shoes ," Franceschini said.
Rome mayor Ignazio Marino said Muti's choice was "undoubtedly influenced by the instability within the Opera House, caused by ongoing protests and strikes that lasted months and led to the cancellation of several performances."
One series of protests in early July resulted in La Boheme being performed at the ancient Baths of Caracalla without the orchestra at times because musicians were on strike.
However, Marino vowed the city council would keep supporting the restructuring and salvage plan for the theatre Cheap Air Max 97 OG UNDFTD Undefeated Black Red , which had a 12 million euros (15 million U.S. dollars) deficit in 2013.
Riccardo Muti was asked to lead major operas with no administrative duties at the Rome Opera in 2008, and three years later accepted the title of honorary director for life.
In 2011, he made an unprecedented and protocol-breaking speech during Verdi's Nabucco Cheap Air Max 97 OG UNDFTD Undefeated Sail Red White , to condemn the severe budget cut made by Silvio Berlusconi's center-right government to culture and arts. He appealed to Italians to "keep culture alive in their country."
Muti led the famous Milan's La Scala theatre for 19 years, and also the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, the London Philharmonic Orchestra Cheap Air Max 97 OG UNDFTD Undefeated Olive Green Orange , the Philadelphia Orchestra, and performed several times with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg festival.
Still working with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as music director, Muti said he will now devote his time in Italy only to the "Luigi Cherubini" orchestra for young professionals he founded in 2004.
WASHINGTON , Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- In her first testimony to the Congress, U.S. Federal Re.