Illegal migrants suggested for Christchurch rebuild

Encouraging migrants to break the law to work in Christchurch is being seen as an insult to those who do things by the book.

Former National and ACT Party leader Don Brash says the Government should turn a 'blind eye' approach to illegal migrants so they can work on the rebuild.

Master Builders chief executive Warwick Quinn says that's a very slippery slope to go down.

"If you're heading in that direction, what you're effectively saying is a message to the rest of the world and the community that it's OK to break the law like that and encourage that sort of thing.

Warwick Quinn says there could be a relaxation of immigration rules but it would depend on whether there was a skills shortage or a general labour shortage.

"Perhaps the relaxing of the time it takes to get here, a fewer number of points required, provide visas for three or four years so they're not here permanently."

Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network spokesman Mike Coleman says there are wider issues at play.

"I don't think this is about not having enough builders.

"This is about insurance companies, and at times including the EQC, actually getting on with the job and being willing to rebuild homes, and assess homes correctly."

Mike Coleman says people wouldn't want illegal migrants in their homes or rebuilding the city, and he adds he doubts if any companies would employ them in the first place.

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