A report released by New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment reveals that temporary migrant workers increasingly helped to strengthen the country’s economy and create jobs in the decade to 2011.
The report revealed that temporary migration is having a positive impact on the employment and earnings of New Zealanders overall, particularly in dairy farming, the horticulture/viticulture industry, and the hospitality sector.
The report’s findings have been warmly welcomed by NZ’s Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, who believes that while New Zealanders should get the first opportunities to take available jobs, workers from overseas continue to be an essential component of the country’s employment market.
“The Government has a clear policy that New Zealanders should be given first priority for jobs, but our labour market has always relied on overseas workers to fill certain gaps and in areas of particular skill shortages,” he said. “Immigration is an important economic lever, and this report supports the view that policy settings around temporary migration are broadly in the right space.”
The report also shows that the countries where the majority of temporary migrants to New Zealand come from changed significantly between 2001 and 2011.
“Even more profound changes have occurred in the countries from which New Zealand employers source such migrants,” it noted. “Great Britain and Ireland provided most temporary workers in the early part of the decade to 2011, while China dominated in the period from 2006 to 2008, and India emerged as the main source of temporary migrant employment in 2011.”