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Minister to Bangkok for Immigration workshop

Minister to Bangkok for Immigration workshop

Associate Immigration Minister Damien O'Connor headed to Bangkok yesterday for a New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS) workshop aimed at improving the offshore recruitment of migrants.

The workshop's being held from 3-11 November, and will bring together managers from the New Zealand Immigration Service’s offshore posts, as well as Thailand-based representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Tourism New Zealand.

Mr O'Connor said the workshop was a great opportunity to look at ways to build New Zealand's skill capabilities and economic growth from offshore.

“The focus will be on the strategic positioning of offshore NZIS posts and on a co-ordinated approach between Immigration and other New Zealand agencies.”

The ultimate aim was to create an overall strategy to promote New Zealand to the world, and to attract top quality migrants, he said.

“I’d like to see the development of a long term service model that’s proactive in relation to New Zealand’s immigration market; a model that will effectively boost skills and economic growth in this country.”

During the two days Mr O’Connor will be at the workshop, he’ll speak to its participants about the government’s priorities and expectations regarding immigration. He’ll make particular reference to issues such as the current labour market situation, skill shortages, the importance of economic growth and the benefits of tourism and international education.

“I’ll also discuss the markets which are currently identified as having source potential for migrants, students, workers and visitors (primarily the United Kingdom and the United States), and challenge some of the thinking around these markets.”

While in Bangkok, Mr O'Connor will also have a bilateral meeting with Thai ministers, and meet with immigration staff at the New Zealand Embassy there. As well, he'll meet with New Zealand Police, Customs Liaison Officers and airport staff based in Bangkok, to discuss border security issues.

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