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Holding politicians to account on immigration cost

Media release
30 July 2008

Business to hold politicians to account on immigration costs

Business will be holding Parliament and Ministers to their word regarding compliance costs created by new immigration law, says Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly.

The new Immigration Bill, which was returned to Parliament by the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee last week, will require employers to take “reasonable precautions” to ensure they do not hire illegal workers.

Business representatives have expressed concerns that this change could create major compliance costs for employers of foreign workers. The Select Committee’s report, however, states that the existing practices of many employers “could be adapted without significant cost.”

“We’ve now had both Parliament and Ministers of the Crown assure us directly that the new immigration requirements will not create a general burden on employers,”Mr O’Reilly said.

“Business will be watching closely to ensure that the final immigration policy reflects these commitments. We do not want to act as de facto immigration police, nor do we want incentives to be created for discrimination.

“Many firms rely on foreign workers and their skills to prosper and compete. While it is right and fitting that we take steps to protect New Zealand borders, these steps should neither hamper business’ ability to operate nor make New Zealand a less welcoming place for overseas talent.”


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