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NEWS

A variety of immigration, business and general news articles taken from New Zealand newspapers, websites and other sources (sources are mentioned at the bottom of each article) and selected by Terra Nova Consultancy Ltd. It may assist the reader being more or less up-to-date what is happening in Aotearoa, "the Land of the Long White Cloud". Happy reading, enjoy ... and if you have any questions on these updates - please contact us...

Newest article always on top.

Jun
25

25/06/20 - Government unsure of how many essential workers have arrived

The government does not know how many foreigners have come into New Zealand under the essential worker exemption and says it would "not be a great use of officials' time" to find out.

While the border is closed to all but NZ citizens and residents, employers can apply to bring in workers from overseas if they are deemed "critical".

A media statement issued on 12 June stated that 237 people had been granted an essential worker exemption and invited to apply for a visa.

But in response to a written question from the Opposition, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway declined to say how many of those people had since arrived.

"I am advised that to provide the number of those who then entered New Zealand would require substantial collation and would not be in the public interest," the response said.

Speaking to RNZ, Lees-Galloway doubled-down on the position, saying officials were too busy to find the "precise number".

"It actually means manually trawling through databases and looking for each individual arrival across the border," he said.

That would not be a great use of officials' time when we've got a pandemic to face."

National's immigration spokesperson Stuart Smith told RNZ that was "unbelievable" given it was only a few hundred people.

"That's not a lot of data," he said. "You could go through with a calculator and work it out yourself. I don't think it's that difficult."

Smith said the response smacked of arrogance and made him question whether the information was even being collected.

"What are they trying to hide here?" Smith said.

"They're not keeping records on things. They don't know who's coming across the border... They aren't managing the border at all."

A spokesperson for Immigration NZ said there was sometimes a delay between people being granted an exemption and them then applying for a visa and making travel arrangements.

She said, as such, the information requested was not "easily reportable".

"We would have to look at each of the individuals to see whether they have put their application for a visa in, whether that has been approved and then also whether they have travelled to New Zealand yet."

New criteria for the essential worker exemption was issued on 12 June, but no requests have been approved since that date.

(RNZ, Craig Mcculloch)

Jun
24

18/06/20 - Why ethnicity diversity is essential in a post-Covid world

Firstly, the lack of availability of migrant labourers will require swift policy decisions to be made so as to not further compromise the economy.

Secondly, the strengths in having an existing superdiverse society need to be fully harnessed in order to take advantage of the opportunities that are likely to emerge in the post-Covid world.

Recently, StatsNZ announced that New Zealand had reached a population of five million. This has been achieved in the incredibly fast time of 17 years. In the first 10 of those years, the birth rate was an important contributor. But by 2017, New Zealand was experiencing sub-replacement fertility. Essentially, there are not enough children being born each year to replace our current population.

During the past seven years, starting in 2013, immigration has been the main driver of population growth. In those seven years, the net gain from immigration was 330,000, a total which is unheralded in New Zealand’s immigration history.

When New Zealand announced it was going into lockdown, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) figures (31 March 2020) show that there were 221,034 migrants on various work visas in the country, with another 81,864 on study visas (who are also allowed to work).

These are extraordinary numbers which raise two questions.

The first concerns the reliance on migrant labour – and the demand for goods and services from immigrant communities - that now exists amongst many employers and industries. For example, a third of the eldercare workforce of around 30,000 are on a migrant work visa.

We know that skill shortages were acute prior to the arrival of Covid-19 and that the demographics of New Zealand will see a smaller working age population over the next decade (essentially through the decline in the fertility rate). But how will employers substitute for migrant workers?

Some of this demand for labour will soften as the recession hits and there will be some labour transfer as those made redundant move into the jobs vacated by immigrants. But this is only a partial answer. We will simply not be able to upskill or reskill enough people in some sectors to replace migrant workers. Look at the need in healthcare for highly skilled immigrant workers.

An important policy discussion point over the next few months will be around workforce planning and the role that immigration can and should play in the future, otherwise the sudden and almost complete (at least for much of the remainder of this year) demise of migrant labour will provide another constraint on any possible economic recovery.

The second issue concerns the existing and future diversity of New Zealand. Even if there is extremely limited migration to New Zealand over the next few years, this is already a superdiverse society with 27 per cent of the total population born overseas and more than 40 per cent in Auckland.

We are anticipating that by the late 2020s, about 20% of the population will be Asian (36 per cent in Auckland) with about the same proportion being Māori and a growing number of Pasifika.

Whether it concerns an existing workforce or a future one, or whether it involves clients and customers, employers should (if they do not already) understand that ethnic diversity is a major consideration in terms of the current and future economy and labour force of this country.

It was therefore a little surprising to see that in the 2020 New Zealand Workplace Diversity Survey, fewer than half (47%) of the employers surveyed saw ethnicity as an important consideration, while a quarter had no policies or programmes to address ethnic diversity. Those that did were most likely to have policies and programmes concerning Māori and Pasifika.

It is not clear why this is the case but it does suggest a worrying gap in workplace policies and priorities.

Ethnic (and religious) diversity is already a major characteristic of New Zealand and will become more so as the 2020s proceed. Given this importance, and the stresses that Covid-19 is going to impose, it is surely going to be an important consideration in any rebuild or in terms of ensuring the viability of companies.

It is understandable that there are major challenges around financial viability as we emerge from the acute phase of Covid-19 with enormous stresses on individuals, communities and firms.

But my argument would be that ethnic diversity has become more important, not less so, as firms and employers look to engage with the new New Zealand that has emerged.

(Source; HRD New Zealand, article from distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, Massey University, has just completed a book on New Zealand’s changed demography.

Jun
04

03/06/20 - What you can do in Level 1

What you can do in Level 1

  • Restrictions on businesses and services will be lifted.
  • Rules governing hospitality outlets will be lifted.
  • There will be no physical distancing rules, and limits on gatherings will be removed.
  • Crowds will be allowed at sports matches and church services.
  • Community sport can resume without restrictions.
  • Physical distancing is no longer required on air travel or public transport.
  • Border controls remain in place
  • Increased hygiene is expected of all New Zealanders.
  • Travel
    • Under level 1, Kiwis can still travel domestically and social distancing measures are removed for planes and public transport. But under the lower alert level the country's border restrictions remain. There's no date yet for when the border may potentially reopen.
    • The relaxing of measures at level 1 will allow for a greater capacity at attractions and on tours, and possibly the return of festivals and other events.

The Rules

The 10 rules Kiwis should adhere to when the country enters Covid-19 Alert Level 1. They're not 'rules' in the same way as level 4 lockdown rules, but general advice and guidance:

  1. If you're sick, stay home. Don't go to work, school or socialise.
  2. If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, call your doctor or healthline. Get tested.
  3. Wash your hands.
  4. Sneeze or cough into your elbow and regularly clean shared surfaces.
  5. You must self-isolate if you're told by officials to do so.
  6. Stay healthy, work with your GP if you have underlying health issues.
  7. Keep digital diaries for contact tracing, keep track of where you've been.
  8. Businesses help people track movements by displaying the QR code.
  9. Stay vigilant.
  10. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself.

(Source; Stuff )

Jun
02

01/06/20 - Immigration category's planned return scuttled by Covid-19

After a wait of more than three years for a government decision on family migration, grandparents had a glimmer of hope - before the Covid-19 coronavirus snuffed it out again.

The parent category - granting residence to immigrants whose adult children already had residence - was restarted again in February after it was suspended in 2016.

But the government halted ballots to choose applicants in April, a month before the first one was due to take place, citing the pandemic crisis.

Forestry manager Megan Costello, an only child from Canada, lives with her New Zealand husband Andy Costello and their two daughters, Ivy and Zosia, aged eight and six, in Gisborne.

After last October's announcement that visa applications were re-opening, the family decided to buy the house next door to them for her parents, Shelagh and Jack Saprunoff.

"We were ecstatic," she said. "Because up until then, they were looking at six months visitor visas, and all of a sudden it was, 'they can move in next door'."

"We were quite hopeful because we meet the criteria and yes, there's four years of people on the waitlist ahead of you, but you sort of think all we need to do is get our place in the line and things should get through eventually.

"In terms of being transparent and fair and open it would just be good to know - to have a statement like 'we're suspending them but we fully intend to resume this visa programme' or, 'we'll revisit this in three months time' or something. But just to have 'it's indefinitely suspended', we're totally back into limbo.

"I honestly don't know when I'm going to get to see them again."

Professor Deborah Levy, who applied for her English mother Betty Mills, aged 86, to join her six months before the category closed in 2016, was awaiting the first ballot in May. She only found out it was not happening when contacted by RNZ.

"I feel totally blind-sided, distraught and disappointed," she said. "No communication from INZ, no explanation - just a bland undated webpage announcement, and once more from hope and possibility into another void."

Auckland University professor Deborah Levy with her husband Brian Bookman are hoping her mother Betty will be able to join them to live in New Zealand in the future.  

Her mother is "luckily stuck" in Auckland because she was visiting when the lockdown happened.

"With the world the way it is at the moment and reduced mobility, this may mean that once mum returns to the UK the reality is I may never see her again," she said.

"It's simply not got good enough. It's a betrayal of its citizens, and elder abuse. People's lives are in suspended limbo creating extreme stress, and more candidates eliminated, apart from natural attrition, through possible job loss of the sponsoring child."

There were almost 6,000 applications when the category re-opened in February, many waiting since before the category was suspended.

One in five applications have been withdrawn since February - many after finding new rules meant a couple would have to earn at least $212,160 a year to sponsor two parents.

A spokesperson for INZ said since February it had received an additional 1,209 expressions of interest (EOIs).

"The first EOI selection for the parent category under the new criteria was scheduled to take place in May 2020," she said. "This was deferred in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The Government continues to reassess when EOI selections can take place, however no decisions on this have been made."

(Source: RNZ, Gill Bonnet)

Covid 19 Notice

As the impact of the coronavirus continues to evolve, we face this unprecedented situation together. The pandemic is affecting all of us. At Terra Nova Consultancy Ltd we wish to reach out and update you on how we are addressing it. Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our employees, clients, and our communities. Our focus on customer service remains at the center of everything we do, and we are fully committed to continue to serve you with our services, and striving to provide our services without interruption.Please listen and act upon the advise given by the Government, only in that way will we together be able to combat this challenge. And as always, stay healthy and keep safe.

TNC E-books

The Terra Nova e-book page contains publications in e-book and e-news format containing comments and reviews from Terra Nova Consultancy Ltd, and other contributors, that relate to a number of issues from immigration to operating a business.

Some of the Terra Nova e-books e-book and the Terra Nova e-news issues we believe may be quite helpful for prospective immigrants.

Check back regularly to find new editions of our Terra Nova e-book and Terra Nova e-news range.

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