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Regional Development Supported By Initiative

Regional Development Supported By Immigration Initiative

Two local authorities will be given the opportunity to pilot an initiative aimed at using immigration policy to enhance regional growth, the government announced today.

Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton announced the trial programme - the Regional Immigration Initiative - at the Local Government Forum in Wellington today.

Jim Anderton and Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel have asked all regions for expressions of interest in establishing two pilots that will be based on a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS).

"This initiative will involve a clear partnership between central and local government, and is aimed at strengthening our regions through immigration," Jim Anderton said.

"The pilots are aimed at providing links between regions seeking specific skills and investment, and potential migrants who can meet those needs. Our regions outside the Auckland area, stand to gain the economic and social benefits that come from successful migration and settlement," Jim Anderton said.

Lianne Dalziel said that immigration has always had the potential to play an important role in assisting regions that have had difficulty meeting their particular skill shortages and investment needs, from within New Zealand.

"By giving the pilot regions access to the most up to date information about immigration policy - such as the recently announced talent visa, the existing long term business visas, and business investor category - we will be able to help those regions meet the needs specific to them," Lianne Dalziel said.

"The potential benefits for both the regions involved and the migrants and their families, are huge. Successful immigration policy can be measured by successful settlement outcomes, and this initiative is aimed at ensuring those benefits are shared in the regions," Lianne Dalziel said.

The pilots will involve regions demonstrating a commitment to providing support services for new migrants, and the NZIS will be responsible for providing information about the regions to potential migrants.

"One of the key elements to attracting the right kind of skills and investment, is providing accurate information about what kind of support a new migrant can expect on their arrival," Lianne Dalziel said.

Ends


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