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Govt Should Extend Expiring Working Holiday Visas

The Government should grant an immediate six-month extension to all Working Holiday Makers whose visas expire before the end of 2022, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“National is calling on the Government to immediately extend the expiring visas of Working Holiday Makers by six months – a common-sense solution to encourage desperately needed workers to remain in New Zealand.

“New Zealand has a critical labour shortage which the Reserve Bank Governor called the ‘number one constraint on economic activity’.

"A document released to National shows that Immigration New Zealand expected ‘large upfront volumes’ of Working Holiday Makers from mid-March. However, we did not get a flood or even a trickle of these desperately needed workers.

“In an average year, we would see between 50,000 – 70,000 Working Holiday Makers in the country. Right now, we have less than 5,000, with the visas of 1,451 workers expiring before the end of the year.

"The Government has completely failed to attract Working Holiday Makers to New Zealand. Earlier this week, the Immigration Minister stated that the Government’s efforts essentially involved an email campaign, meanwhile Australia has been significantly more aggressive in their marketing.

"Because of this failure to attract workers, hotels are asking high-value international tourists to clean their own sheets because they don’t have the staff to do it.

“Hospitality and tourism businesses are desperate for workers. Extending these visas is a tool for businesses to encourage workers already here to stay for longer until more workers arrive in New Zealand.

“This is a no-brainer. If a Working Holiday Visa is expiring in 2022, it should be extended by six months immediately.”

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