8 Jun 2012

NZ looking to make it easier for Samoans to qualify for residency and get seasonal work

7:53 am on 8 June 2012

Immigration changes are being negotiated with Samoa to make it easier for Samoans to qualify for residency in New Zealand and get skilled work.

Samoa's government has asked New Zealand to rectify its failure to fill the 11-hundred special quota places set aside each year for Samoans to apply for residency.

The minister of foreign affairs, Murray McCully, says an agreement has just been reached on ways to overcome the obstacles.

He says the main difficulty is the requirement that Samoans whose names come up in the ballot must find a genuine job within six months.

Mr McCully says New Zealand is also looking at extending a seasonal workers scheme, which recruits people for fruitpicking, to include some skilled trades.