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Working Holiday Scheme increased

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

19 November 2003

Working Holiday Scheme increased

The international popularity of New Zealand’s Working Holiday Scheme is to lead to an increase in the number of places made available, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

"An extra 6000 places will be added next year to New Zealand's current limit of 25,000, with further increases possible in following years," Mr Goff said.

The Working Holiday Scheme allows people aged between 18 and 30 without children to work in New Zealand for up to a year and for young New Zealanders to work overseas under a reciprocal agreement. New Zealand currently has agreements with 16 countries.

"Demand for places from most participating countries exceeds supply, which leaves no room to establish agreements with other countries," Mr Goff said.

"The additional places will largely be added to existing schemes. This will allow an additional 1000 young people from the United Kingdom, 700 from Ireland, 1200 from Canada, 1000 from Germany, 500 from France and 200 each from the Netherlands, Chile and Sweden to come to New Zealand," Mr Goff said.

"The remaining 1000 places will cover private work place exchanges.

"The government hopes to expand the scheme in the next few years to include Slovenia, Hungary and Poland after they join the European Union next year.

"The reciprocal nature of the Working Holiday Scheme means the government's decision to increase available places here will allow more young New Zealanders to go and work for up to a year in countries that are partners in the scheme.

"Research from parallel programmes operated by Australia show that Working Holiday Schemes have a positive impact on the labour market by creating more jobs than they displace.

"Working Holiday Schemes also expose talented young people from other countries to New Zealand. Many of them continue to promote New Zealand as a great place to visit when they go home, and many return here as tourists or to become permanent residents," Mr Goff said.

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