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Farmers Welcome Immigration Changes

28 October 2004

Farmers Welcome Immigration Changes

Federated Farmers welcomes the Government’s changes to the skilled migrant policy, which will make it easier for farm staff to gain New Zealand residency, says Charlie Pedersen, Vice President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

“This is a step in the right direction, and Federated Farmers will work closely with the Immigration Service to ensure the changes are implemented in a practical way,” he said.

The changes mean some agricultural and horticultural managers will be deemed skilled occupations. Level three and above qualifications in agriculture will be on the acceptable trades list, and contract labour such as sharemilkers may now count as skilled occupations. These all increase the chances of farm staff gaining the required points for residency.

“Under the old rules, it was difficult for farmers to gain enough points to qualify for residency. With the changes, it seems that the Government is finally recognising that agriculture is a skilled occupation.

“The future looks much brighter for the farm managers who have had to deal with an immigration policy that has disadvantaged agriculture,” said Mr Pedersen.

ENDS


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