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Work visa changes putting New Zealanders first

New Zealand First is today applauding the announcement of a new temporary work visa process. This new system will prioritise New Zealand workers while ensuring temporary foreign workers can be recruited to fill genuine regional and sector shortages.

“New Zealand First has consistently advocated for the need to focus our efforts on training and employing New Zealanders in our workforce wherever possible,” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“After months of consultation, the Coalition Government has refined the work visa process, including strengthening the labour market test for lower-paid workers, and introducing a new employer-led visa framework that will drive the application process for overseas workers.

“Under the new system employers will need to be accredited to participate, and Regional Skills Leadership Groups will be used to ensure the full utilisation of the local labour market.

“This straightforward process takes out all the unnecessary bureaucracy, replacing six visa categories with one temporary work visa, and will result in a better organised workforce and training systems for our nation’s future.

“This is a significant shift away from the previous National Government’s open borders approach to work visas that resulted in poor workforce planning for the country’s future, New Zealanders being overlooked for work roles, and exploitation of overseas workers.

“We look forward to seeing this system roll out in conjunction with other changes to our workforce planning to improve the landscape of training and employment for New Zealanders,” says Mr Peters.

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