16 July 2009

Professor calls for urgent change to permanent immigration policies

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A team of Victoria University academics is calling for greater numbers of low-skilled immigrants to be allowed New Zealand visas in reports contary to traditional immigration policies.

Immigrating to New Zealand

A university professor has called for changes to policies to help key workers with immigrating to New Zealand.

The reports, from Victoria University's Institute of Policy Studies, say an ageing population will require growing numbers of caregivers.

These caregivers will most likely be from overseas and working on New Zealand visas or work permits.

Paul Callister, an associate professor at the Institute, says many caregivers these days enter from the Pacific Islands or the Philippines on temporary New Zealand visas, but this is unsuitable.

Demographic changes are predictable and long term, he says, and need solutions to attract key workers and help them with  immigrating to New Zealand.

Professor Callister said that similar trends are evident in Australia, which will make it difficult for New Zealand to attract immigrants for the care-giving industry.

He predicts if current policies continue, New Zealand will end up with less than half of the caregivers it needs by the 2030s.


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