Tourism industry welcomes New Zealand’s visa and infrastructure announcements


With many tourism employers around New Zealand reliant of highly valued employees on work visas, Tourism Industry Aotearoa has advised that they will be “delighted and relieved” by yesterday’s announcement of new arrangements for extending Essential Skills Visas.

New Zealand Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced yesterday that two-year Essential Skills Visas will simplify the application process for someone already in a fulltime role and wishing to stay with that employer.

Set to apply from Monday (19th July), a work visa holder can also move to a new employer, if a Labour Market test shows there are no suitable New Zealanders available for that role.

Welcoming the change, Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) Chief Executive, Chris Roberts (pictured) commented “tourism businesses from accommodation and hospitality to transport and activity operators are facing real challenges in filling vacancies.

“Employers don’t want to lose the great people they already have. And today’s announcement gives skilled and trained migrant workers who have chosen New Zealand as their temporary home some security.

“TIA applauds the Government for listening to business concerns.”

Roberts says the decision to delay the introduction of the new accredited employer work visa scheme from 1st November until the middle of next year is sensible, noting “TIA has long supported this change to the system but giving employers more time to get accredited is helpful.”

TIA also welcomes the Government’s support for local council infrastructure projects, with New Zealand Tourism Minister Stuart Nash’s announcement of the recipients of the latest round of Tourism Infrastructure Fund grants.

Roberts is a member of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF) assessment panel which made recommendations to the Minister and says dozens of communities across the country will be delighted that local amenities will be upgraded and supplemented with the support of the TIF.

Roberts added “these improved amenities will serve locals, domestic visitors and when borders do reopen, international visitors.

“The tourism industry is still a long way from recovery but with Government support we look forward to once again making a strong contribution to the economy and wellbeing of Aotearoa.”

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