15 June 2009

New Zealand work permit holder testifies against former MP

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A New Zealand work permit holder who was staying in the country illegally told a court hearing that Taito Phillip Field offered help with his New Zealand work permit grant in exchange for labour.

The New Zealand work permit holder from Thailand, Sunan Siriwan, had overstayed his initial New Zealand work permit by five years, living in the country illegally.  At a meeting between Field and Siriwan, a deal was made to work as a tiler on his Samoan property for free, in return for a legal New Zealand work permit.

"Taito asked if I was interested in doing some work for him as a tiler on his house in Samoa, and in return he would help me get a work permit," the NZ Herald reported Mr Siriwan as saying.

Field faces 25 other charges of corruption, and the trial is due to end in three weeks time.

In related news, the number of New Zealand work permits being issued or renewed by the government has decreased in response to the rising unemployment levels and slowdown of the economy.  The New Zealand immigration department have stepped up measures to ensure that New Zealand jobs are not being taken by overseas workers during the global recession, by requiring all vacant positions to be advertised for at least two weeks to the local community.

While this may be helping local New Zealanders retain their chances in the employment market, businesses in Queenstown are complaining that they are losing out under the policy, as during peak season their hospitality and tourism industries rely heavily on New Zealand work permit and New Zealand working holiday makers to make up the labour force. 

While the New Zealand working holiday visa program remains an uncapped programme, the New Zealand work permit programme is struggling to meet the market's needs in Queenstown at this point of time.

The New Zealand working holiday programme is for young travellers aged 18-30 years old from specific countries to work and holiday in New Zealand for up to 12 months (with UK passport holders having the opportunity to extend this by another 11 months.


The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand working holiday.


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