20 September 2012

Major New Zealand immigration study commissioned

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A large scale research project into the effects of New Zealand immigration on the changing face of the country's largest city Auckland has been commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Science.

New Zealand immigration

Massey University has been tasked with studying the impact New Zealand immigration has had on Auckland.

Tomas Blazek moved from the Czech Republic on a New Zealand visa eight years ago and worked as a veterinary assistant for the past three. Despite being fully qualified as a veterinarian in his home country, his qualifications were not valid in his new country.

Professor Paul Spoonley of Massey University, who will be leading the NZ$800,000 (£410,000) study, says the country is currently undergoing a massive population change due to New Zealand immigration, aging citizens and community development.

"The last two decades have seen some major changes to New Zealand's demography," said Professor Spoonley. "Including the effect of immigration on cultural diversity and historic high levels of emigration and these will combine population aging in the coming decade to produce further changes.

"It is important that we understand these changes and how they impact on matters such as employment and economic or population growth in particular regions and cities."

The study, titled Nga Tangata Oho Mairangi, will look at the regional and economic impacts immigration has had on Auckland and other regions between 1986 and 2013 and will contain predictions on future demographic changes to 2036.

The project will involve input from households, employers and secondary school pupils concerning their feelings toward the current and changing demographics of the country.

The study is expected to take up to two years and could influence future New Zealand visa and immigration policy changes.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

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