Partnership approach to immigration

4 Apr 2019

Proposals for new requirements for work visas need fine-tuning, says BusinessNZ.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has been consulting on plans to improve the system for employer-assisted work visas - the process by which employers can hire skills from overseas if they are unavailable in New Zealand.

MBIE’s proposals include requiring some migrant workers to be paid at least the median wage, and highly-skilled migrant workers to be paid at least 150 percent of the median wage for their occupation.

This is causing concern among regional employers, says BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope.

“MBIE is proposing a regional approach to immigration, and under this approach we think the rules should take into account regional wage levels.

“Migrant pay rates should be pegged at the average rate for their occupation and region.”

He said business was keen to work with MBIE to ensure that new policy settings bring a more nuanced approach to immigration that also supports the many New Zealand businesses facing skill shortages.

“A well performing immigration system that is responsive to labour market needs is critical to New Zealand businesses maintaining their global competitive advantage,” Mr Hope said.