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Working Holiday Scheme With Hong Kong

8 November 2000

A Working Holiday Scheme with Hong Kong is set to be implemented early next year, Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel and Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff announced today.

Lianne Dalziel and Phil Goff today met with Hong Kong Chief Secretary for Administration the Hon Mrs Anson Chan. The Ministers said both governments welcomed the development of the bilateral scheme to strengthen ties between New Zealand and Hong Kong.

"Working Holiday Schemes open the way for young people to learn about different cultures and countries during holiday travels where they can undertake limited employment and study," the Ministers said.

"We welcome seeing more young Hong Kong people visit New Zealand, perhaps to look at some of the software, biotechnology, and environmental enterprises that Mrs Chan herself will be seeing this week.

"Mrs Chan indicated that the scheme will be welcomed by Hong Kong's education and business sectors because it offers students and graduates an ideal opportunity to live in an English-speaking environment. It also offers an excellent opportunity for them to experience New Zealand as an adventure.

"Mrs Chan says she also hopes the scheme will encourage more New Zealanders to visit Hong Kong, particularly those who are willing to spend short periods working as English language teaching assistants. Mrs Chan has informed us that improving English-language standards is one of the main priorities for her government."

The Working Holiday Scheme with Hong Kong, now being finalised, aims to initially have 200 visas in both directions with a review of the quota in two years.

The Ministers announced a Working Holiday Scheme with the Federal Republic of Germany last week.

Ends

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