23 Jul 2009

Change to temporary work permit scheme

7:07 pm on 23 July 2009

A change has been made to the temporary work permit scheme which the Government believes will help the tourism industry which relies heavily on overseas workers.

Immigration New Zealand will now give 30 days' notice on whether work permits will be extended. Previously, a decision was made without any notice.

Employers will be asked to discuss their staffing needs three months before permits expire.

Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman says introducing a notice period will give more certainty to employers and workers.

Dr Coleman says the change will not disadvantage New Zealanders who will continue to have job priority over foreign workers.

The tourism and hospitality industry has welcomed the new, more streamlined application process.

Queenstown's tourist chief Stephen Pahl says anything to help employment is welcome in a resort town that depends heavily on overseas workers.