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Additional measures in New Zealand

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Additional measures

Attracting the exceptionally talented 
Labour party will introduce an Exceptional Skills Visa. This visa will enable people with exceptional skills and talents that will enrich New Zealand society — not just its economy — to gain residency here.

It will be available to people who can show they are in an occupation on the long-terms skills list and have significant experience or qualifications beyond that required (for example, experienced paediatric oncologist) or are internationally renowned for their skills or talents. Successful applicants will avoid the usual points system requirements for a Skilled Migrant Category visa and would be able to bring their partner and children within the visa. This visa will help grow high-tech new industries, meet the increasingly complex needs of the 21st Century and enrich our society. Exceptional Skills Visas for up to 1,000 people, including partners and children, will be offered every year.

KiwiBuild Visa and training Kiwis
There are 90,000 young people who are not in work or education, and the number of people in training is falling. The opportunity exists to train these young people and get them into work, rather than leaving them on benefits.

Labour party will introduce the KiwiBuild Visa to help address the growing shortages in skilled tradespeople and facilitate Labour’s KiwiBuild housing programme. 

Residential construction firms could hire a skilled tradesperson on a three-year work visa without having to meet the Labour Market Test if they pay a living wage and take on an apprentice for each overseas worker they hire. The number of places will be limited to 1,000 to 1,500 at a given time, which we expect will be additional to the construction work visas issued under the existing rules.

Labour party will assist with the cost of the apprentices through our Dole for Apprenticeships scheme which will pay the employer the equivalent of the unemployment benefit to take on an apprentice. 

The increase in training this creates will reduce our reliance on migration and increase the productivity of the sector.

No Changes to Pacific quotas, RSE, or working holidays
Labour will continue to recognise the special relationships with our Pacific neighbours. There will be no cuts to the levels of Pacific quotas and the Recognised Seasonal Employer schemes. 

We will investigate ways to ensure that the Pacific Access Quota and Samoan Quota which are currently underutilised are fully met. However, there will be greater enforcement to ensure workers are not exploited.

We will not make changes to the working holidays schemes which are negotiated under bilateral agreements with other countries.

Looking after victims of war and disaster
Labour will increase the refugee quota to 1,500. 

This will continue Labour’s proud tradition of welcoming victims of war and disaster to our shores, which extends back to taking in refugees during World War II and is just as needed today, with conflicts such as in Syria creating the largest number of displaced persons since 1945.


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