Auckland authorities keen to attract more migrants

Successfully attracting and retaining skilled migrants to Auckland will be the main focus of a new partnership between Auckland Council, Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

The three organisations have developed the Auckland Regional Partnership Agreement, a three-year plan to work collaboratively on shared priorities. The groups will each share research, information and best attraction and retention practices across regional, national and international settings.

“Skilled migrants have a critical role to play in Auckland’s economy,” says Auckland’s Mayor, Len Brown. “Likewise, strong relationships between the Auckland Council group and government agencies are also immensely important to making Auckland the economic powerhouse New Zealand needs us to be, and this agreement is a great example of that.”

In the new partnership, Immigration New Zealand will lead central government relationships, and Auckland Council and ATEED will lead relationships with local and regional stakeholders.

ATEED with Immigration New Zealand will focus on the attraction and retention of skilled migrants, particularly via existing work programmes in the international education and priority sectors. Auckland Council will focus on migrant retention and community-building.

Brett O’Riley, the Chief Executive of the ATEED, says “The attraction and retention of skilled migrants is necessary to sustain and stimulate economic growth – it is important for the transfer of knowledge and skills that provides the necessary innovation and acceleration for growth as well as addressing the critical skills gaps we have in a number of our key sectors.”

Meanwhile, Steve McGill, General Manager of INZ’s Settlement, Protection and Attraction Unit, says the new collaboration will identify how Immigration New Zealand can support Auckland Council and ATEED’s migration priorities for Auckland. “An example of this collaboration in action is the recent Perth and Sydney job fairs. ATEED, INZ and the Auckland Chamber of Commerce worked in partnership to attract skilled talent to Auckland for some of our key sectors,” he explained.

The Auckland Regional Partnership Agreement succeeds the Auckland Regional Settlement Strategy, which ended last year. The new partnership builds on this strategy, in which Immigration New Zealand and Auckland Council worked together with businesses and social agencies, to support better economic and settlement outcomes for new migrants in Auckland.