NZ region urged to increase skilled immigrant intake

A leading New Zealand immigration expert believes that smaller, less-popular regions of the country need to do more to attract an increased number of skilled workers from overseas.


Speaking to an audience in Havelock North in Hawke’s Bay earlier this week, Professor Paul Spoonley, of Massey University, said that encouraging educated and business savvy settlers from overseas to the region would help address major issues currently facing Hawke’s  Bay, including an ageing population, a skills shortage and sluggish economic growth.

“You’re falling further and further behind, so population growth, if it’s not a major agenda item for Hawke’s Bay, it should be because you need those skilled workers,” he said. “Jobs are not going to stay in the Bay if you don’t have that supply of skilled workers, of younger workers.”

However, the professor was keen to point out that immigrants would not have to replace local workers workers. “You’re not getting the benefits of immigration,” he continues. “There are issues and there are political sensitivities, I realise, in Hawke’s Bay when immigrants are brought in and locals are not getting jobs. I’m not suggesting you replace locals with immigrants. You need both.”

Immigrants looking to settle outside of Auckland can claim bonus points through the country’s skilled immigration programme.

Located on the east coast of the country’s North Island, Hawke’s Bay is arguably most famous for producing award-winning wines, but it also enjoys one of the warmest year-round climates in NZ and is home to the major towns of Napier and Hastings.

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