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Immigration Minister Must Listen To Businesses

The Immigration Minister must listen to growing calls for the Government to adjust its Immigration settings, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“In the past 24 hours, the CEOs of ANZ and Sealord have criticised the Government’s immigration policies and called on them to urgently address New Zealand’s critical worker shortages.

“This follows news of tourism bosses needing to wash dishes instead of focusing on growing their businesses, and smaller operators such as the Auckland barber who is closing his doors because he simply cannot recruit trained staff.

“Sectors across the board are crying out for labour, and the Labour Government has completely dropped the ball.

“A document released to National shows that Immigration New Zealand expected ‘large upfront volumes’ of Working Holiday Makers from mid-March. So far, just 1,681 have arrived when we usually expect around 70,000.

“On Health New Zealand’s first day of existence, its CEO Fepulea’i Margie Apa called for nurses to be prioritised on the fast track to residence pathway. Echoing this desperate plea is The Association of General Surgeons, Plunket, Family Planning, NZ Nurses Organisation, Aged Care Association and Home and Community Health Association, all of them wanting nurses on an immediate pathway to residency.

“There is no justification for nurses and midwives waiting two years for residence. Yesterday in select committee, the Immigration Minister admitted the policy is based on ‘logic and common sense rather than any particular evidence’, despite the previous Minister claiming there was evidence.

“This Labour Government is completely out of touch with the needs of businesses across New Zealand, and Kiwis are paying the price for their inaction on immigration.”

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