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Changes to New Zealand immigration law

  • News
  • May 2, 2017
  • The Register team
Changes to New Zealand immigration law

Changes to our immigration laws are set to be put in place August this year, but how will they affect your staff and business?

New Zealand Immigration has released changes to the immigration law governing its Skilled Migrant Category, which are expected to be put into action August 14.

The new law is a points-based residence policy, for people who wish to live permanently in New Zealand. Points are based on factors such as the applicant's qualifications, work experience, and the job offer.

All applicants must also meet some minimum criteria, regarding health, character and command of the English language.

The Skilled Migrant Category is not a new concept, but the changes being made this year are. And it is these changes which will change the residential laws in Auckland.

The first change alters the point system, increasing the points threshold for automatic selection from 140 to 160.

The changes mean that anyone who makes under $49,000 a year won’t be able to work in central cities unless they’re a resident.

A tightening of immigration rules will likely be the last before the election and help regions get the workers needed while sending fewer new arrivals to Auckland, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says.

“As part of changes to start from August 14, migrants will need to earn more than $48,859 a year once in New Zealand to qualify for a skilled migrant category visa.”

Other changes include limiting lower-skilled visa holders to a maximum of three years and classifying the partners and children of these visa holders as visitors, meaning they will only gain work visas if they meet requirements in their own right.

Due to the new rules, business owners can be expected to be approached for higher salaries as workers aim to stay in the country.

The employment of New Zealand residents is the goal for larger and smaller businesses who may suffer employee loss resulting in the new law.

However, there are issues which arise under the new law according to New Zealand Immigration.

“The rise in SMC (skilled migrant category) migrants who work in lower-income occupations indicates that some jobs that meet the current definition of “skilled work” may not, in fact, be highly skilled,” says the New Zealand Immigration website.

In particular, it is not easy to differentiate between senior and junior roles (particularly in managerial positions).

For those who wanted to apply for residency but now don’t meet requirements, Immigration New Zealand advised them not to apply.

“If you cannot meet the new points threshold, we would not recommend that you submit an EOI as it is unlikely to be selected.”

But those already working in New Zealand can apply for a temporary work visa based on their job.

To keep their current employees, employers may need to show that they cannot find suitable New Zealand workers to take up their job requirements.

Changes to start from August 14:

• Anyone who will earn less than about $49,000 a year once in New Zealand won't get a skilled migrant category visa, and permanent residents won't get points for such jobs.

• People who will earn more than $73,299 will automatically be classified as highly skilled.

• The SMC points table, under which individuals claim points towards their residence application, will also be realigned to give more recognition of skill levels in the 30-39 age group and high salary levels.

• Limiting lower skilled visa holders to a maximum of three years, after which a stand-down period will apply before another visa can be approved.

• Classifying the partners and children of these visa holders as visitors, meaning they will only gain work visas if they meet requirements in their own right.

• Ensuring the length of the visa in seasonal occupations aligns with peak labour demand, rather than for 12 months as is presently the case.

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Enhancing the experience: Hospitality New Zealand

  • News
  • November 17, 2017
  • Courtney Devereux
Enhancing the experience: Hospitality New Zealand

Some commentators think food and integrated hospitality offerings will save brick and mortar retail from obsolescence in the age of ecommerce. But does catering to the consumer’s every need result in sales, or are shoppers moving on without making a purchase? In the Enhancing the experience series Courtney Devereux hears from Vicki Lee of Hospitality New Zealand about why these two different sectors are working together.

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What’s next for Auckland’s City Centre: a Q&A with designer Ludo-Campbell Reid

  • News
  • November 16, 2017
  • Elly Strang
What’s next for Auckland’s City Centre: a Q&A with designer Ludo-Campbell Reid

Auckland Council recently released a video detailing how far it’s come with the urban design of the City Centre over the last 10 to 15 years, as well as its vision for the years to come. Elly Strang talks with Ludo Campbell-Reid about the pace at which his vision is coming to fruition, the most impactful changes already made to the City Centre and goals for the future.

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Owner / Retailer: Suzie Johnson

  • News
  • November 16, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Owner / Retailer: Suzie Johnson

Oosh is a regional retail empire that’s built on empowering rural women. Founder Suzie Johnson chose the name after ‘Oosh’ was tagged into the side of her first store in Shannon, which she opened after putting her husband through university selling jewellery and paintings at markets.

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A first look at new pharmacy player Chemist Warehouse

  • Opinion
  • November 16, 2017
  • The Register team
A first look at new pharmacy player Chemist Warehouse

When Australian pharmacy giant Chemist Warehouse opened its first New Zealand outlet less than 50 metres from The Register team’s office, Courtney Devereux and Sarah Dunn couldn’t resist heading in for a mystery shopping trip or two.

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