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UK Police Officers Now Call NZ Home

UK Police Officers Now Call NZ Home

29 April 2005

More than 50 police recruits who came to New Zealand from the United Kingdom under the Government’s work-to-residence policy have decided to make this country their home.

The Department of Labour’s Immigration Service last week approved 47 residence applications from the officers who are Auckland-based.

Three officers had already been granted residence as a result of their talent visas, with another eight gaining approval through other residence categories such as family and skilled migrant.

“We want migrants to positively contribute to New Zealand and this is exactly what these people are doing,” Department of Labour deputy secretary Mary Anne Thompson says.

“The work-to-residence policy signalled a shift in focus for the department - from passively receiving applications to actively recruiting people this country needs.”

The work-to-residence policy was introduced three years ago in order to help businesses recruit overseas in order to fill skill shortages. It is one of a number of changes to the skilled and business immigration categories made by the Government in the past few years.

"It has been a mutually beneficial exercise and we are pleased to give these people an opportunity. It greatly assisted us in our time of need," General Manager Human Resources Wayne Annan says.

"Their experience has, and will, continue to assist NZ Police. We are continually looking into different options to enable entry to NZ Police from overseas officers.”

Background Information

Those who entered under the talent category hold a variety of jobs. Some are with New Zealand’s biggest employers like Carter Holt Harvey and Fletcher Construction, while others are in physiotherapy practices, high schools or working as mechanics.

“The talent visa enables accredited employers such as the New Zealand Police to recruit the highly-skilled, talented individuals they need.” Ms Thompson added.

Successful applicants work for two years, after which they can apply for residence provided they have met the conditions of their visa, meet standard health and character requirements and have an offer of on-going employment.

So far 531 people have converted their talent visas to permanent residence since the category was introduced in 2002.

ENDS

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