Up for auction – entry to New Zealand

Press release

The suggestion of putting border exemptions up for auction so large companies can bring in overseas executives and key workers is naïve and totally unfair,” says June Ranson, chair of the New Zealand Association of Migration and Investment (NZAMI).

“An auction as suggested by the New Zealand Initiative (NZI) doesn’t tell you who has the most critical need; only who has the biggest chequebook. This is not the New Zealand way and does nothing to help the small to medium businesses (SMEs) in this country who form the backbone of our economy.

“There are many employers in NZ who have a genuine need for skilled professional people who not only create work opportunities for New Zealand residents/citizens, contribute to the growth and development within the company, impart knowledge and skills. These companies would not want to be part of a Dutch auction.

“The NZI survey results are unsurprising when it appears they only talked to large companies.

“There are 21,721 people holding skilled worker temporary visas who are still stuck in their home countries. Many had resigned their jobs, sold their homes and were pending travel to NZ.

“These are skilled people that NZ employers need to train New Zealanders, but also their expertise is required to keep existing businesses operational and develop growth. Labour match reports have proved that no New Zealanders could undertake the required work had been obtained where necessary and this information is being ignored.

“We appreciate the demand for border exemptions is high and Immigration NZ is under pressure, but we need a fair system and not just a concession to the highest bidder.

Our members would be more than happy to assist Government in resolving this situation.


Steve Hart is a writer and podcaster.