15 January 2013

NZ opposition leader raises UK visa situation with William Hague

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New Zealand's Leader of the Opposition David Shearer has told British Foreign Secretary William Hague that he would like to see UK visa restrictions for New Zealand citizens eased.

UK visa

William Hague is currently on his second trip to New Zealand in two years.

Mr Hague is currently on his second trip to New Zealand in as many years for talks with New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully. The foreign secretary has also met with Mr Shearer to discuss UK visa restrictions.

Mr Shearer claims that vastly more Britons travel to New Zealand than Kiwis do to the UK and this is due to onerous visa restrictions, restrictions which have tightened in recent months.

"We used to have 1,500-odd people getting skilled visas going into the UK," Mr Shearer, the leader of the Labour Party, said.

This has dropped to as little as 700, he added, compared to as many 6,500 Britons who travel to New Zealand from the UK each year.

"It's beneficial to both countries, the flow of people backwards and forwards is always a good thing and we both learn from the skills and experience of each others' countries."

Mr Hague has confirmed he is willing to look into the issue but said there were other avenues for New Zealanders wanting to live and work in the UK.


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