Immigration changes a boost for regional New Zealand 17 Sep 2019 Regional New Zealand will benefit most from changes to employer-assisted visa settings, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says.Immigration policy changes that will introduce a pre-assessment for employers, improve access to immigration for regions with low unemployment and put in place sector agreements will be a significant change to the current immigration settings."Industry welcomes the opportunity to work with officials on the detail of how the new processes can be implemented in a pragmatic way that will be efficient for both businesses and Immigration New Zealand."Mr Hope says migrants are a vital part of the New Zealand workforce."This will be of significant benefit to the many businesses in the regions that can’t get the skills and people they need."For our major cities to build the infrastructure they need for growth, skills from overseas will still be needed. We need to make sure that all New Zealand businesses can access the skilled workforce they need."Businesses access migrants as a matter of need - we simply don’t have the number of people with the right skills in New Zealand to keep up with job growth, and this has now been a problem for several years with persistent skill shortages across many industries."We look forward to the Government taking an open-minded approach to sector agreement negotiations and collaborating with industry to address these skill shortages," Mr Hope says.