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Government Dithering On Partner Work Rights

Instead of deferring the removal of open work rights for partners of skilled migrants until April, the Government should ditch the changes entirely, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“National has consistently opposed Labour’s changes to remove open work rights for partners of skilled migrants because it will make it even harder to attract skilled workers into the country.

“New Zealand is facing critical labour shortages that are making the cost of living crisis even worse, but the Government's immigration changes are making it harder for businesses to attract the workers they need.

“Without guaranteed open work rights for partners, the skilled migrants we need will go to more attractive destinations in the global war for talent.

“Removing work rights for partners of skilled migrants will force more individuals into vulnerable situations where they are more likely to be exploited. Maintaining open work rights for partners is one of the most important things the Government can do to stop migrant exploitation.

“The decision to defer changes until April shows that the Immigration Minister knows he is making a mistake. Unfortunately for Kiwi employers, the damage has already been done because potential skilled migrants will have seen the Government signalling these changes and could have already decided not to come to New Zealand with their partners.

“Simply deferring these changes until April only adds to the mountain of uncertainty for migrants looking to come to New Zealand.

“Rather than deferring the changes, the Minister should ditch them entirely.”

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