04 September 2009

Immigrants to New Zealand get better deal says government

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Immigrating to New Zealand has meant an easier time for migrant workers than in other countries, says the New Zealand immigration service.

Immigration New Zealand says that in some overseas countries the global recession has led to temporary workers without work being asked to go home and promise never to return or a severe slashing of skills on immigration shortage lists.

Immigration New Zealand's head, Andrew Annakin, said their policy response to New Zealand skilled migration was "generally more moderate" than that of other countries.

Mr Annakin said unlike other developed countries, New Zealand was less affected by the global recession and was better able to control the numbers of those immigrating to New Zealand.

"Countries with less control over immigration flows have had to use more dramatic responses to influence the flows that they can reduce."

Mr Annakin also said New Zealand's 6 per cent unemployment rate was lower than in most OECD countries, where the average was 8 per cent.

"New Zealand's approach has been to let the availability of unemployed New Zealanders and the reduction in employment manage the flow of temporary work permits, while leaving permanent highly skilled flows intact," Mr Annakin said.

"This will ensure that we still have the skills we need once we are out of recession.

"New Zealand is always going to need skilled migration, and our approach is consistent with recommendations from the OECD."


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