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Mayor welcomes skilled migrant rule change

October 28, 2004

Mayor welcomes skilled migrant rule change

North Shore City Mayor George Wood supports the Government's more flexible immigration policy that targets migrants with the scarce skills needed to boost the economy.

"This move to attract talent to New Zealand will help plug gaps in the labour market," he says.

"The unemployment rate is falling and we have a significant shortage of both skilled and unskilled labour in many sectors. I'm pleased to see the Government announce that it will actively recruit the skilled migrants that New Zealand needs."

The North Shore City Council had lobbied Government for more flexible and responsive immigration rules.

New Zealand's fourth largest city, North Shore City has seen strong economic growth with its GDP rising 7.1 per cent in the year to March 2003. The city's economy is predicted to grow faster than the national rate, around 4.5 per cent in the future. Growth from industry sectors such as communications, business and finance are likely to contribute the most to the economy and employment.

Mayor George Wood says the city's priority is to have North Shore people in lucrative local employment.

"But we welcome the contribution that skilled migrants bring to our economy and also our community," he says. "The broad range of talents and cultures enrich our city and allow us to take advantage of the opportunities available."

He points to the skills shortage within the council organisation including traffic engineers, transport planners and building inspectors. The situation is shared with local authorities throughout the country.

ENDS


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