After complaints from employers the Government has backed down on original work visa proposals; has now lowered pay threshold to $41.5k from $48k; introduced new 'mid-skilled' category

After complaints from employers the Government has backed down on original work visa proposals; has now lowered pay threshold to $41.5k from $48k; introduced new 'mid-skilled' category

The Government's revealed details of its partial back-down on tougher temporary work visa conditions originally announced in April.

The main changes include creation of a new 'mid-skilled' category and reduction in the bottom limit remuneration for this category to $41,538 a year, instead of $48,859 as originally proposed.

The original proposals attracted a lot of negative feedback from employers.

While the amended proposals from the Government have found favour with several business groups, Federated Farmers slammed them - saying that calls from a united primary sector for the government’s latest round of immigration changes to address significant labour shortages in rural areas "have obviously fallen on deaf ears".

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said on Thursday he wanted to "reassure employers that the changes announced today are not designed to reduce the number of migrants coming in on temporary work visas".

“Employers will continue to be able to employ migrant workers where there are genuine labour or skill shortages. However, these changes will help provide clarity around the conditions under which temporary migrants come here."

Woodhouse said the changes to temporary work visa conditions will be introduced on 28 August, alongside the previously announced changes to the Skilled Migrant residence category.

Other issues highlighted during consultation will also be addressed during 'Phase Two' of the review of temporary migration settings, he said.

These included developing a framework for further targeting of immigration settings by sectors and regions, developing proposals to incentivise and reward good employer behaviour, and ensuring that seasonal work visas reflect seasonal work.

Phase Two would also address concerns raised by primary industries that the current ANZSCO job classification list lacks classifications for some jobs and therefore disadvantages workers whose occupations are classed at a lower-level by default.

This is the announcement:

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse today confirmed changes to temporary work visa conditions following an extensive consultation process.

“The Government is committed to striking the right balance between ensuring New Zealanders are at the front of the queue for jobs and making sure our regions have access to temporary migrant labour necessary for sustained economic growth,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“We are also committed to ensuring that lower-skilled migrants are clear about their future prospects in New Zealand, which is why we consulted on a number of changes to temporary work visa conditions.”

The changes consulted on included introducing remuneration bands to help determine skill levels; a maximum duration of three years for lower-skilled visa holders, after which a minimum stand down period will apply before they are eligible for another lower-skilled visa; and requirements for partners and children of lower-skilled visa holders to meet visa conditions in their own right.

“The consultation process resulted in around 170 submissions and today’s announcement shows the Government has listened to the feedback raised by employers and industry, particularly in the regions,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“While the minimum stand down periods and visa requirements for partners and children will still apply for lower-skilled migrants, we are amending the remuneration band for mid-skilled migrants to address issues raised during the consultation process.

“As a result, the remuneration band for mid-skilled will be 85 per cent of the New Zealand median income, which is currently $41,538 a year, instead of $48,859 as proposed during consultation.

“This means that any migrant earning below $41,538 a year will be considered lower-skilled and will be subject to the stand down periods. Any migrant earning between $41,538 and $73,299 a year in an occupation classified as ANZSCO Level 1 – 3 will be considered mid-skilled, and those earning over $73,299 a year will automatically be considered higher-skilled, regardless of their occupation.

“The new mid-skilled remuneration band recognises the fact that these workers are filling genuine skill shortages and are more likely to progress with further skills acquisition or work experience. It also provides more certainty for employers in planning and training their workforce.

“The consultation process also uncovered a misunderstanding around what the changes mean in terms of employers’ ability to continue to access lower-skilled migrants.

“I want to reassure employers that the changes announced today are not designed to reduce the number of migrants coming in on temporary work visas.

“Employers will continue to be able to employ migrant workers where there are genuine labour or skill shortages. However, these changes will help provide clarity around the conditions under which temporary migrants come here.

“Today’s announcement is another example of this Government’s responsible, pragmatic approach to immigration and is in stark contrast to Opposition parties who want to decimate the regions by cutting immigration by tens of thousands.”

The changes to temporary work visa conditions will be introduced on 28 August, alongside the previously announced changes to the Skilled Migrant residence category.

Other issues highlighted during consultation will also be addressed during Phase Two of the review of temporary migration settings.

These include developing a framework for further targeting of immigration settings by sectors and regions, developing proposals to incentivise and reward good employer behaviour, and ensuring that seasonal work visas reflect seasonal work.

Phase Two will also address concerns raised by primary industries that the current ANZSCO lacks classifications for some jobs and therefore disadvantages workers whose occupations are classed at a lower-level by default.

For more information, visit

Employers had the following response, with this statement from the EMA:

The setting of more realistic bands for temporary work visas is a pragmatic response for employers struggling to find staff.

In an announcement confirming the changes to temporary work visas, the Minister of Immigration, Hon. Michael Woodhouse has responded to calls by industry and employers to have more flexibility to find the staff they need in their respective sectors.

"I think there has been a very clear call from business saying that in such a tight market as this, they need to have the ability to find workers. Today’s announcement from Government is sensible and practical in how it addresses pressure points in the mid-level salary range," says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA.

"We keep hearing of the skills shortage in the service sector and today’s confirmation of a mid-skilled remuneration band for temporary work visas does address this."

Mr Campbell says with a deepening skills shortage the Government must continue to look for at a range of options to address the issue.

"Immigration is part of the solution. It goes hand-in-hand with how we educate and develop Kiwis. From embarking on your first job through to managing your career through different ages and stages, we need to ensure we have capable workers," says Mr Campbell.

The skills shortage continues. In the EMA Employers Survey 2015 67% of employers were finding it difficult to recruit for skilled positions. A year later in the Employers Survey 2016 this had increased to 72%. Furthermore, employers are struggling to recruit positions across all range of skills from fully qualified professionals through to general labourers.

And BusinessNZ said this:

Changes to temporary work visas are more workable, says BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope.

Changes announced today will help define what is a lower-skilled employee, and will restrict lower-skilled migrant employees to a 3-year visa with a stand-down period before becoming eligible for a new visa. Any migrant earning less than $41,538 a year will be considered lower-skilled and will be subject to the stand-down period. Partners and children of lower-skilled visa holders will have to meet visa conditions in their own right to be able to come to New Zealand.

Kirk Hope said the changes strike a balance between ensuring jobs for New Zealanders and enabling businesses to access the staff they need.

"Every year, employers of lower-skilled migrants will have to prove to Immigration NZ that there are no New Zealanders available to do their jobs - as they currently have to do via the labour market test.

"And where there are no New Zealanders available, employers will still be able to access migrants for those jobs - both skilled and unskilled.

"This is helpful, as many businesses in many industries are struggling to fill job vacancies.

"New Zealand businesses need access to both skilled and unskilled labour to be internationally competitive.

"It’s good that Government has listened to business and industry while developing these changes.

"The revised salary threshold is more realistic for migrant workers to go from a lower-skilled role to a mid-skilled role with training and more experience, and will be more workable in the regions.

"It’s also positive that government has taken up our calls for greater use of employer accreditation as well as looking into different sector and regional approaches according to their individual needs. The next phase of work will need to address specific regional needs in key sectors such as aged care, hospitality, tourism, farming and meat processing.

"But at the same time, we need find innovative solutions to the skills mismatches in the New Zealand labour market, including more than 80,000 young people currently not working and not upskilling. Solutions to this problem are needed in the education and careers sector rather than immigration."

Federated Farmers were not thrilled by the latest developments. They said this:

Calls from a united primary sector for the government’s latest round of immigration changes to address significant labour shortages in rural areas have obviously fallen on deaf ears.

The entire sector, and in particular the dairy industry, called for the government’s proposal to be amended to provide a framework for employers to attract and retain quality, motivated highly capable migrant employees and to help them develop their skills in the industry.

Unfortunately, none of the changes proposed in the document released today will do that.

"Although we acknowledge that there is a commitment to continue to work with the industry to address deficiencies in the current system that specifically impact the primary sector," Federated Farmers immigration spokesperson Chris Lewis says.

The changes restrict the vast majority of migrant dairy farm workers to a maximum of three consecutive one year visas (maximum three years) before an enforced stand-down where they must leave NZ for 12 months.

"Given the depth of labour shortages in rural areas this will only force out migrants who have been invested in, trained and integrated into the farm and community, to be replaced by another migrant who is new to New Zealand.

"There will also be restrictions applied to bringing partners or children. This will reduce the competitiveness of New Zealand as a destination for motivated and qualified dairy farm workers, and take the heart out of rural communities relying on the families of migrants to provide critical mass to schools, social groups and community organisations.

"We are disappointed that the Government failed to address our concerns in these proposals.

"We can only hope that if we continue to try to work constructively with the Government during phase two of the changes, some of our concerns including the immediate future of great people working here in New Zealand now, can be addressed," Chris says.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

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Cool! Keep wages down nicely......


Well unless the National party are offering to make Kiwis breakfast, I think they're done.


They just don't care! They have become so fecking smug they've turned into Mike Hosking!

My vote will be for a party with a proper housing plan..


....he wanted to "reassure employers that the changes announced today are not designed to reduce the number of migrants coming in on temporary work visas".

Glad we are all on the same page. So it's business as usual regarding migration policy then?


From my impression, employers want cheap migrant workers, because then they don't have t pay as much. If they want NZ workers, then they have to pay more. This is convenient for the government as well, because it allows them to bring in a lot of overseas workers, which makes the economy numbers look really good short term. But we better hope there isn't a recession, as that will bring it all crashing down IMO.

Indeed, they're complaining that Kiwis don't want to work in these jobs while wanting to pay very cheap rates, with very little chance of making more money over time.

Think about it - they basically said that most of their low tier jobs are done by people on short term / temporary visas, with no intent to stay in NZ. They then said that for the more senior jobs, the ones where people will want more...they want this more to be a path to residency, without them having to pay even an average New Zealand wage.

So they don't value their senior employees enough to pay an average Kiwi wage to keep them in NZ.

Only people for whom the alternatives are worse will aspire to such jobs. I.e. where the alternatives are third world slums.

And in the ends, the ones paying for it are Kiwi taxpayers who must bear the extra load, as these revised visa laws also exempt the partner and children of someone being paid only $41,000 from having to qualify for a visa in their own right (the partner). This is importing future qualifiers for Working For Families to subsidise farmers and hospitality businesses, and it'll ultimately be at the expense of the usual middle income NZ taxpayer who can't disguise their income.

The government claims it has been tackling skill shortage for the betterment of the economy, when in reality they are tackling the wage surplus for the betterment of the employers.


Have they finally realised that too many are coming into the country and other countries put a block on immigration. short term gain long term pain. Vote National out.


"the govt has backed down...."
What actually is the legacy of this govt except for the Asiafucation of NZ?

Did you maybe mean 'fication? Oh maybe not.

I think he meant what he wrote... and I for one have never been more offended... since the last time I had never been more offended!

Rough guess skilled labour is worth around $21.70 per hour ?

21.70 * 8 hours * 5 days a week * 4 weeks * 12 months a year = $41664 ? (dont know if im skilled enought work this out)

Given that being a burger techinican gets your $15.75 - your skilled if you can pull an extra $5 accordng to national and should be welcomed into the country with open arms as we need you ?

Isn't that why employers can't get skilled NZers to do the work, because they are not willing to work for peanuts, with the high cost of living. Whereas many overseas people coming in will be renting, not home owners, and renting at the moment is still apparently cheaper..

Looking at it another way...

Living wage, which is supposedly the minimum you need to live equals $20.20 for 2017. So you only need to find another $1.50 to be skilled.

What happens in 5 years time when the living wage is more than the "Skilled" migrant wage.

That's actually an excellent point.
The best comparison so far.

Shouldn't that read "the best scariest comparison so far"

Are employers obliged to pay a kiwisaver contribution for a NZ employee and what do they do about a temporary-worker immigrant? Does it make the latter cheaper? I'm out of touch - can someone post the answer?

I'll try and answer,

- My understanding is that you must be a citizen or permanent resident to enroll in Kiwisaver.
- Employers must pay Compulsory Employer Contribution (CEC) of 3% to everyone enrolled.
- Employers must pay the CEC in addition to the minimum wage (i.e. they cannot roll it up as part of a Total Salary package if the CEC deduction would result in the employee earning less than minimum wage)
In theory, this makes the actual minimum wage of an employee in Kiwisaver approximately $16.23

Therefore at the minimum wage level a non-Kiwisaver member is cheaper to employee than a Kiwisaver member.
At a higher wage level (i.e. >$16.24 per hour), then most employers adopt a "Total Salary Package" approach so there is zero difference.

So to answer your question, technically yes, at minimum wage level an immigrant is likely to be cheaper than a NZ citizen in Kiwisaver.

Thanks for the explanation. It would make sense to at least have a level playing field.
An automatic deduction of employers contribution for everyone. (I'd like Kiwisaver to be compulsory anyway). For holders of work-visas the money can go to the labour inspectorate so we are not embarrassed to read about fruit pickers as per last week - when exploitation occurs for more than half the workforce something is seriously wrong and our reputation sinks..


So just remind me again... How are they supposed to be able to afford a home and or rent in Auckland on that salary level?

Agreed. Get housing to take a big backward step from it stupid levels, and a lot of the wage pressure evaporates. I guess Nationals policy is simply that its far more important to protect the banks, and the heavily leveraged, with the only solution massive inflation everywhere to balance the mess back out.

Vote for the many (most kiwis and kiwi owned businesses), or the few (banks and leveraged specuvestors).

That is why the current system of owning a house in NZ requires 2 people working, so that would take it up to 80k a year. As two people are working, the tax will be less than if there was just a single person working who earns 80k.
Then they will be able to buy a million dollar shack in Auckland, so about 50% of the income goes to the mortgage payments in interest. Over time the loan inflates away as property values continue to grow. This is at least how it seems to be currently working, but is seriously prone to failure if conditions change.

You need to more than double that with a 200k deposit to buy a house in Auckland.

You can always buy in Wairarapa with a fraction of Auckland prices.


They don't. They live 20 to a house, and send any remaining cash home.

It's lose-lose for the kiwi economy.


'Mid-skilled' migrants, a bit like 'wadeable' rivers - it's a policy when you're not having a policy. Otherwise referred to as 'open slather'.

I regularly post somewhat anti-immigrant posts. My position being why do we need so many more immigrants than other countries (Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Iceland)? Not anti-immigrants just why so many? Surely it must be seen as an indictment of education and training by this and previous governments?

However lets try and give the devil his due: the emphasis is on temporary worker visas - when the '...." hits the fan and the next recession arrives it will be fairly easy to say 'thank you for your efforts, you can return home now'. It is the stunning figures for permanent residency that concern me most (although I have NZ family members who are competing for wages with some of these cheap temporary workers). Someone says the nationals are planning for over 200,000 new immigrants in the next four years (NB there were 186,829 new permanent residents in the last four years with 51,753 as principal applicants in the Business/Skilled category). If you think that is good for NZ rather than NZ businesses then you know who to vote for.


National 2050

We now have viewable rivers.

Yes, that's right. You and your 125 million fellow Kiwis can now safely look at any river in the country from as close as 100m, without getting sick.

For those of you in Auckland, we thoroughly recommend the 3 day gridlocked drive down to Hamilton for the best viewing conditions.

No Denial on this issue from national party as it suits rich employers. Infact are prompt in addressing the concern, which may not be bad but the question why do they deny, lie and manipulate when it comes to protect the interest of average kiwi....Be it housing, health, education..............

Who need confused government that too after 9 years in power. Vote for change.


Bunch of muppets.
Vote Winston.

Vote Winnie and we'll all in the Pooh!

If you vote winnie - you may not get change, vote labour - even though they suck, will give them a clear majority to rule - without three party ham stringing perhaps ? any thoughts ?

All the new kiwis in the past 10 years are gold card national paid up members with direct party line to Bill English - so the more that come in the more harder its gunna be.

Goldcard holder - yes, arrived after 2000 - yes. Want to see many more immigrants with lower wages for my kids, housing priced out of range for my kids - NO.
Probably vote TOP but alternatively like you without enthusiasm labour - at least they may look after Kiwi unions with their kiwi workers instead of let keep every small businessman happy.

No. Vote Winston and he will get his way whether it is with Nats or Labour

good on national! Set the bar as high as australia/UK/canada/US can only embarrass/hurt NZ as those highly skilled have choice to go other countries. remember it's always a two way street.

This will be good for Winston Peter.

Vote anyone BUT.........


Whatever side of this debate you are on it is all meaningless without a decent labour inspectorate. Rorts, rorts and more rorts. There is too much evidence that immigrants are paying employers to employ them.

How easier will it be to earn over the threshold in the regions compared to Auckland? Washdoesn'twash

The good ship "Immigration ' is about to dock again ..... but it comes at a price ...........a serious shortage of houses

Review of Mark Lopez, The Origins of Multiculturalism in Australian Politics 1945-1975
Katharine Betts

Where did the policy of multiculturalism come from? Did an army of worried social workers
develop it in the 1960s to soothe the problems of non-English-speaking immigrants?1
Did their many colleagues in education conjure it up to lift the self-esteem of migrant school children?2 Did Whitlam give it to us?3 Did Grassby?4 Did we import it directly from Canada?5 Did migrants create it,6 and did they do so because the old Australia was intolerant and intolerable?7 Did multiculturalism have to happen because assimilation wasn’t working?8 Or did politicians invent it in order to capture the ethnic vote?9 All of these answers to the question have been proposed but none are adequate. Until now, however, there has been nothing else on offer.

Today we can do better because Australian multiculturalism has found its historian. His name is Mark Lopez and we haven’t heard the history he has to tell us before. It’s the story of how a tiny band of activists lobbied hard to establish multiculturalism, despite the fact that few of their compatriots––Australian-born or immigrant––wanted it ,and it’s an absorbing mixture of intrigue, idealism, opportunism, luck and bravado. Then when they had achieved their goals some of them went on to write their own histories of their accomplishment. But these histories do not tell us where multiculturalism came from because, dedicated and altruistic though many of them were, none wanted to tell the story as it really was. They wanted to present the history of multiculturalism as the triumph of good over evil, the evil of assimilationism and integrationism, and they wanted to obscure their own role in this triumph. (As activists the multicultural few had worked hard to represent themselves as a flock; as historians they continued this labour.)10
Same here no doubt.

When you have absurdities like officially sanctioned Sharia law courts in the UK then things have gone way to far; try keeping a society together with that level of "diversity". How the lib left reconcile their ideology with the appalling dogma of Sharia law beggars belief.

I get the game now, next move is dropping the 12 month leave expectation for the regions at the behest of sector interests, then equality claims called for by city interests resulting in continuing low wages. Stealth! Washdoesn'twash

National must have done a secret poll which said immigration is not such an hot button issue as is being made out by the media. Bold to go against the apparent sentiment, may pull off another win ?

Nope, they just know which side their bread is buttered on. They are also busily imploring the voters of Epsom and Ohariu to vote Seymour and Dunne respectively, I would expect in the hope that one or both of them draw enough party vote to bring another one or two in or more likely know they have 2 allies plus the party vote vote from those electorates, which as I understand it, if they win the seats even if they get the same party vote they won't end up with as many seats - anyone, feel free to correct me on that. That indicates to me that they are very much concerned.

that was similar to my thoughts, by painting themselves as pro immigration they are hoping to pick up most of the new residents and if we look at the nine years in power that is a lot of votes.
whilst most of the rest of NZ has it as an issue, we also have health, education, infrastructure, services as major issues.
I would suggest with conservations I have had immigration (bringing in family) and house pricing are the two major issues for new residents.
are we at our brexit moment for this election or will it become the only issue next election.
interesting times,

It's gerrymandering on a grand scale.

I think they are aiming at a mainly rural electorate with the argument that immigration is good because otherwise jobs like dairying and care-workers will not be done. I just do not think immigrants will be persuaded - they come to NZ for peace, space, clean air, 'a fair go' and minimal corruption. They find most of those in peril by our current very high rates of immigration.

Murray Goot(18) has pointed out that while the majority of the many polls that have been conducted on the issues of immigration over the last 12 years suggest majority opposition to the level of immigration, including Asian immigration, different polls have yielded different and often conflicting results. In an Office of Multicultural Affairs poll in 1989, for example, the majority of respondents said the level of immigration was about right or too low. He has argued that such different conclusions reflect differences in the way polls have been worded and the different contexts within which questions have been asked, rather than actual shifts in public opinion, which is 'soft' on the issue, 'created by the very attempt to measure it', and able to be led.(19)
You have the Scanlon Foundation saying "Aussies say yes to immigration, multiculturalism...." and you have Nigel Latta who says: "research tells us that 89% of New Zealanders want to live in a multicultural society" - ignoring the numbers.

A two-bob each-way-bet

extract from opening text of Scanlon Foundation Research on Australian polling
"While most of the polls conducted since 1984 suggest majority opposition to the rate at which immigrants, including Asian immigrants, have been coming to Australia, other polls suggest majority support"

Try applying and approximating numbers to multi-culturalism and see how that works

I went through secondary school at MRGS the last of the elite Auckland Grammar Schools. When I was there the multi-cultural mix was pakeha 85%, Maori and Pacifika 12%, Asiatic 3%

Today according to the MRGS web-site the school roll is :-
Greater than 50% Asian, 25% Pacifika, the remainder of less than 25% are Pakeha and Maori

Pakeha and Maori are now the minority

What's mrgs ?

I guessed Mt Roskill Grammar School

David Goodhart in the British Dream says social surveys in the UK show increased objection to immigration when immigration levels are high and reduced when they are low. Seems like common sense; much the attitude I have to rain - great to have some but please give me warning if we are going to have a flood.

In reference to temporary work visas - Is there not a certain hypocrisy in some of the comments here. Many NZers see it as a right/rite of passage for young kiwis to be able to head off on an OE either for the experience or to further their career/personal position. Yet when foreign young people wish to come here to do the same we get all nationalistic. What is the difference between a Himalayan migrant farm employee coming here and living here sending money back home, which enables his 5 sisters to go through University, and then returning home (true story) and a kiwi on an OE (extended or otherwise) progressing their career offshore and bringing funds home at the end of it?
I look forward to government (whichever party is in power) bringing in regional variations for visas. Why should the situation in Auckland, which has many and varied issues, dictate what employers in Southland can do - where studies have shown that Southland needs to grow its population by approx 10,000 to have any chance of a vibrant future.

You're equating a short/medium term OE to countries with often strict rules and long paths to residency or citizenship with NZ's easy path to residency and citizenship that sees taxpayers effectively subsidising low-cost labour for certain segments of the economy?

Why not use comparable examples?

I don't think Kiwis would object to the example you're suggesting - i.e. why not just issue work visas for a number of years, without also throwing in residency-to-citizenship? Plenty of people from the third world work in the middle east and parts of Asia, with no expectation of citizenship.

The problem we've seen with this weak-kneed caving of the government to pressure is that we're giving an easy path to residency for people who only need to make $41,000, and their partner and children then also get in without the partner needing to qualify in their own right.

The problem is, the industries here are NOT prepared to pay enough to attract people without the additional incentive of citizenship, and the amount that these people will make then puts a huge number of them right in the band of needing taxpayer support through Working For Families.

Why aren't these employers prepared to stand on their own two feet and pay what's required to attract workers, without taxpayers supporting it all?

your reference to NZ industries

The massive influx of nearly 1 million migrants since year 2000 (not counting the exodus of kiwis) has not helped NZ industry such as the closure of the Dunedin Railway Workshops, Cadbury's in Dunedin, and now A&G Price in Thames plus the potential massive cock-ups by Fletchers in Australia and Auckland and Christchurch

It is the hospitality industry that has benefited with these low wage migrants, manufacturing is on the decline anyways. Quick bucks making is the order of the day, right ?

Keep in mind, if it wasn't helping NZ industries we wouldn't be having NZ industries asking for these changes, would we?

Maybe not two other guys, but neither have the migrant farm/horitculture/viticulture staff caused the closures in Dunedin and Thames.
Migrant farm staff are often the target of comments on this site yet they are not the one's causing problems of house affordability and low wages. Yes, there have been historical cases of migrant farm staff being ripped off by employers, but hey that's a reflection of the employers not the migrants. In the past I have encouraged young kiwi farm staff to refuse to accept employment, or leave, because they would be/were ripped off by employers. Unannounced Labour dept inspections of farm staff records 2/3 years ago has greatly improved the employment situation on farms.

A balanced answer. Two points:
1. the Nepalese or Tibetan would be adding diversity whereas say another POM like myself adds nothing - there are quotas for some countries and IMHO there should be quotas for all countries and that includes UK. (rather obviously this cannot extend to the partnership category - that has to be uncapped).
2. there is vast evidence of widespread exploitation with potential immigrants paying employers to employ them - not fair to the honest immigrant and not fair to the unemployed Kiwi. And the nats have cut the labour inspectorate! Here is the impartial academic proof:

Lapun, shouldn't ethnically diverse countries have more of a quota to accommodate their greater number of tribes? Will each of the 55 ethnic minorities of China have a quota? Who knows how many different tribes there are in Africa that will need quotas too?
It seems totally wrong to have quotas worked out using arbitrary lines on maps drawn by defunct empires otherwise Tibetans should be classed as Chinese and Red Indians as Americans. No, I'm thinking we will need a quota for every tribe in the world because "diversity"
Then when we fill the quota for a particular tribe we can tell the rest they add nothing!

In the 1950's Dutch migrants were specifically targeted to come to NZ to help develop NZ farming. My in-laws came over here and their travel costs were NZ govt subsidised. So we have had ethnic targeted migration before in NZ. ;-)

A policy of mutual convenience
In 1950 Wellington approached The Hague, asking whether it could obtain 2,000 skilled migrants. Carpenters, skilled labourers, and farm and domestic workers were high on the wanted list. It was a move based on pragmatic grounds, and both countries stood to gain from the arrangement. The need for workers was immediate. Even before the immigration agreement was signed in October, 55 Dutch dairy workers were selected. All the men took the long direct flight to Whenuapai, arriving just in time for the peak of the season.
The New Zealand Assisted Passage Scheme was extended to include a limited number of Dutch citizens with special skills. Candidates faced strict selection processes. About a quarter of the post-war Dutch settlers were subsidised in this way.
The door also opened that year to those willing to pay their own way, so long as they had a job and a place to live. Some even brought prefabricated houses with them. Within a few months, Dutch migrants came in by the thousand, mainly by sea.

Zachary, I have thought of it but have no perfect answer. The Dept of Immigration has arbitrary quotas by country for working-holiday so they accept the principle. I have a French family member who applied too late about 20 years ago and was rejected because the quota was full, (he went to Australia instead).
If we want to reduce numbers there are several ways (1) increase charges (2) increase point count (3) introduce quotas. I would use all three methods with the quotas deliberately aimed to increase diversity. So a quota of say 2000 for the UK could have sub-quotas for English/Welsh/Scot/Irish (say 1500 English and 500 of the other 3 smaller countries but total of no more than 2000) and China a quota of 2000 with 53 sub-quotas. India is particularly important - Shane Jones says almost all the Indian students are coming from the same place whereas we deserve a spectrum of immigrants from all the Indian states.
Compare to Britain where almost all the Pakistanis come from the same small area of Kashmir that was flooded when a dam was built 50 years ago - the first few used their compensation money to come to Britain and then all the others are family and friends. So England has a large colony living in semi-segregation.

Lapun, I comprehend the method in your madness now. It's actually not such a bad idea if we must have massive immigration.

Did I mention my wife is from PNG - over 800 languages some as different as English to Chinese, each with its own cultural traditions - when they speak of super-diversity that is the only place that has it.

I still can't see why we need massive immigration - is it proof that our gov failed to educate and train Kiwis? I wouldn't even have me but now I am in you will need both wild horses and a crowbar to get rid of me.
If Kiwis are feeling isolated or provincial wouldn't it be better for the gov to sponsor OEs instead of dangling residency/citizenship to get students to study here?

why not just issue work visas for a number of years, without also throwing in residency-to-citizenship? Plenty of people from the third world work in the middle east and parts of Asia, with no expectation of citizenship. It could be said that plenty of kiwis living/working in Australia do the same (no opportunity of citizenship) but yet in some quarters that is seen as 'unfair' to kiwis who have lived there since they were small children/worked their for a decade or more etc.

Tell me CO, I need to ask, are you one of those southland dairy farmers with either Bill or Conor English's phone numbers on your speed dial?

Neither two other guys. Just because I'm a farmer doesn't mean I vote National. ;-)

But I do know some migrant farmers, some of whom have progressed through the industry pathway and are now equity partners in farms. I see this as a positive. I also know the farmer who employed the person I referred to above and though they employ 6 people on their farm - only one of whom is a migrant - they have a sense of philanthropy about helping someone from a more disadvantaged part of the world to improve not only their lot, but that of their families as well.

I was thinking about this post the other day about a working visa dairy worker in southland working 16 hour days, 11 days on and 2 days off and working for some southland blueblood landed outfit called Patterson who would surely have Bill on his speed dial

Bill frequently refers to nameless business people with influence who seem to be able to get him on the phone. Wonder how many phone-calls he cops from garage-dwellers and car-sleepers

Anyway, to compound matters, this morning the chair of Federated Farmers is on the radio castigating Bill for not reducing the income threshhold even further, below $41,000. Boy was he hot under the collar

It would seem 16 hour days down on the farm in southland is not enough, according to FedFarm

I presume you mean the Chair of Feds Dairy Section? Feds Chair is a 'she' - Katie Milne. ;-) And here's me thinking the Paterson Farms were in Otago. Southland farmers I speak to that employ migrants don't have have an issue with a $48,000 threshold. Maybe they do things differently in the Waikato where Chris Lewis hails from. Feds 2017 remuneration survey results are here

I can show you many farms that aren't corporate owned where 5 on 2 off is becoming common, or 6 on 3 off is the norm. We can all pick out a disgruntled employee or an employer who is not up to scratch iconoclast. I maintain that since the Labour Dept unannounced visits on farms that they did 2/3 years ago and followed up again later things have improved on dairy farms.

Here's a link to Feds media statement

Very pleased to hear about the labour dept visits. They should be doing similar where ever immigrants are employed.

UK is not touting its education industry for foreigners to come in, (not) study, but work, bring their spouses on work visas, all getting residency which is the carrot dangled for the international students to come to NZ and be available to work here on sub-minimum wages, so our businesses can make profits and the 1% can get richer and richer.....And even the UK is now tightening the screws on NZ youngsters wanting to go on OE.

I can see ANZ more than halving its workforce...Elliott explains that he wants to streamline his workforce, reduce the distribution dependency on mortgage brokers and branches, and rebuild ANZ into a highly productive data and technology-centric company that uses predictive modelling to disrupt larger incumbents via radical, "risk-based pricing".

A good read and responsive Kiwi ( Shayne Elliott) thinking.....

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