Fully open border and immigration changes speed up economic growth
Posted: 12-May-2022 |


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a major package of reforms, which include an early opening of New Zealand’s border and a simplification of immigration settings, to address the immediate skill shortages in New Zealand and speed up the economic recovery from COVID-19.

“New Zealand is in demand and now fully open for business,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand’s international border will reopen to all tourists and visa holders two months earlier than planned on 31 July.

“This will be welcome news for families, businesses and our migrant communities. It also provides certainty and good preparation time for airlines and cruise ship companies planning a return to New Zealand in the peak spring and summer seasons.

“We know a major constraint on business is access to skilled labour. This plan will increase the available pool of labour, while also speeding up our tourism recovery.

“This follows our previous reconnecting work which has seen approvals granted for over 29,000 critical workers, 5,000 students, working holidaymakers, Australian tourists, and visa-waiver visitors already able to enter the country.

“By helping to relieve urgent skills shortages, opening up tourism and putting our immigration settings on a more secure footing, we are building on our proven plan to secure New Zealand’s economic future,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The Government has also announced new rebalanced immigration settings which will help businesses access the key skills they need while ensuring wages and working conditions are improved for everyone.

“New Zealand cannot return to pre pandemic trends that saw us overly reliant on growing numbers of lower-skilled workers and resulted in the increased exploitation of migrants,” Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. 

“Our plan is to grow skills at home. Over the past two years, over 190,000 New Zealanders have benefitted from Government investment in trades training, including apprenticeships.  On Monday we announced an extension to the Apprenticeship Boost scheme which will see a further 38,000 New Zealanders supported into a trade.

“The cornerstone of our rebalance is the new Green List which will incentivise and attract high skilled migrants to New Zealand, by providing a new streamlined pathway to residency for those globally hard to fill roles. The list features 85 hard to fill roles including construction engineering, trades, health workers and tech.

“Our rebalanced immigration system will be simpler, reducing categories, bringing more online accessibility and streamlining application processes for businesses.

Note: From what we can see, the ‘Greenlist’ doesn’t overtly attract any ‘Coalface’ Transport specific occupations aside from Engineering staff, however, the ‘work to residence’ does include Automotive electrician ANZSCO 321111 - A certificate at NZQF Level 4, or a higher qualification, which includes the credit and knowledge requirements of one of the strands of the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Electrical Engineering (NZQF Level 4) and Diesel motor mechanic (including heavy vehicle inspector) ANZSCO 321212 A certificate at NZQF Level 4, or a higher qualification, which includes the credit and knowledge requirements of the New Zealand Certificate in Heavy Automotive Engineering (NZQF Level 4)


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