The continued growth in net migration shows the Government’s immigration rebalance is striking the right balance as it tackles labour shortages, Immigration Minister, Michael Wood said today.
“We know many industries have been calling out for workers as the global labour shortage bites, and we want our immigration settings to be responsive to that, while still helping to deliver a more productive, high wage economy,” Minister Wood said.
“Our immigration rebalance has lifted pay requirements for migrant workers to ensure they are treated fairly, and requires advertising for NZ workers before a migrant worker is sought. Today’s strong numbers show that these important protections have not been a barrier to recruiting migrant workers where we need them.
“The fact that migration arrivals in the year to 2023 were above the long term average continues and a recent OECD report showed New Zealand as the most attractive place for skilled workers is evidence that New Zealand remains an attractive destination for workers to come to.”
He said New Zealand’s Green List offers a residency pathway that was appealing for workers.
“We’ve extended the number of jobs on the Green List as well as extending our working holiday scheme to support business to get the workers they need.”
“Ultimately we want to train as many New Zealanders to fill labour shortages as possible, but in the short term it has been necessary to rely more on migrant workers than we otherwise would to plug workforce gaps.
“Our labour market remains strong. Recent Stats NZ data showed wages rose by 7.6%, ahead of inflation at 6.7%, and unemployment remains at a near record low of 3.4%.
“We will continue to closely monitor our immigration flows to ensure we have the right settings, but for now this is a positive sign that we are getting the workers our economy needs to thrive and grow,” Mr Wood said.