Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Changes to help migrants settle in NZ

19 November 2002 Media Statement

Changes to help migrants settle in NZ

The government today announced changes to the rules governing General Skills and Business categories for migrants.

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said the changes were designed to improve employability and settlement prospects.

“All the evidence shows that migrants are able to settle far more successfully in New Zealand if they can communicate well in English.

"Therefore from midnight tonight, the level of English required for General Skills applicants will be an average score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The current level is five.

"The level for Business applicants will increase from four to five. The level for secondary applicants will be standardised at five, and for the first time an English language test will apply to Long Term Business Visa applicants, also at IELTS level 5.

"IELTS is an internationally recognised English testing system that assesses people across the four skill areas of listening, reading, writing and speaking ability," Lianne Dalziel said.

The increase in language requirements aligns immigration standards more closely to those of tertiary institutions, professional registration bodies, and employers looking for skilled migrants.

The Minister said the increase in language requirements had also been included in changes to the Job Search Visa criteria. Applicants will now need an average score of 6.5 as well as having qualifications required for occupations on the New Zealand Immigration Service’s (NZIS) Occupational Shortages List.

"A number of minor changes have also been introduced to tighten up the Business categories in the wake of the Evaluation of the 1999 Business Immigration Policy. A full review of the Business categories will continue, and decisions will be taken next year.

"From tomorrow all Business category applicants will have to agree to participate in any evaluations of the policies, and Long Term Business Visas will be targeted to those whose businesses benefit New Zealand, in line with the Entrepreneur category.

"Another significant loophole highlighted by the Evaluation was the ability of a long-term business permit holder to change the business plan without reference back to the NZIS. This will cease as of midnight tonight," Lianne Dalziel said.

"Raising the English language standards will also help ensure migrants have a more realistic expectation of the level of English which is required for employment in New Zealand.

"It is unfair for people to be able to come here believing their English skills equip them fully for life in New Zealand, and then find that they cannot communicate well enough to get a good job.

"We want migrants to be able to make a positive contribution to New Zealand both economically and socially, and we want them to be welcomed by their local communities. Those aims are hard to achieve when language problems create barriers."

Lianne Dalziel said the importance of continually reviewing immigration policy had been highlighted in the 'New Zealand Talent Initiative' report prepared by LEK Consulting late last year for the Prime Minister's steering committee of Ministers and business leaders, as part of the development of the Growth and Innovation framework.

Lianne Dalziel said today’s initiatives were steps in a strategic direction that this government has taken to focus immigration policy on skills and successful settlement, and follows:
- The establishment of migrant settlement pilot programmes in 2000
- The introduction of the New Zealand Immigration Programme in 2001, with its emphasis on attracting skilled migrants
- The introduction of the Talent Visa as part of the Work to Residence programme in April this year.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Spying On Politicians, Activists, Iwi, Quake Victims: "Failings Across Public Service"

A State Services Commission investigation into the use of external security consultants by government agencies has uncovered failings across the public service, including breaches of the code of conduct...

However, the inquiry found no evidence of widespread inappropriate surveillance by external security consultants on behalf of government agencies. More>>

 

Doesn’t Compromise Sovereignty: NZ To Back UN Migration Compact

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will support the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration after being satisfied fears about the document are unfounded. More>>

ALSO:

Children's Commissioner: Child Poverty Law "Historic Cause For Celebration"

...It represents a cross-party commitment to a fundamental shift of policy for our most disadvantaged children and should help undo 30 years of damage to children from our most vulnerable families. More>>

ALSO:

Dope News: Binding Cannabis Referendum To Be Held At 2020 Election

The referendum on cannabis for personal use is part of Labour's confidence and supply agreement with the Greens. It could be one of potentially three referenda - decisions have yet to be made about euthanasia and changes to electoral laws. More>>

ALSO:

Vic: Victoria University Name Change Rejected

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has declined Victoria University of Wellington Council’s application for a legal name change. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cab 17/12/18: Chief Justice, M Bovis

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's final post-cabinet press conference of the year focussed on announcing the appointment of Helen Winkelmann as the next Chief Justice, and an update on effort to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission Issues Paper: Use Of DNA In Criminal Investigations

In the 22 years since the Act came into force, it has become clear that the modern-day fingerprint analogy is increasingly inapt... Theoretically, whole genome sequencing could ultimately become the standard method of analysing a DNA sample. Such a development will give a new perspective on the concept of genetic surveillance in the criminal context. More>>

State Highways: $1.4 Billion For Road Safety Improvements

The Safe Network Programme will make 870 kilometres of high volume, high-risk State Highways safer by 2021 with improvements like median and side barriers, rumble strips, and shoulder widening. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels