NZ minister promises immigration crack down

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Employers across New Zealand may have to update their approaches to overseas recruitment after one government minister reprimanded organisations for taking shortcuts and turning to international labour hire companies far too soon.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse told Morning Report that employers’ first port of call should now by Work and Income rather than the international market.

"We saw too many occasions when an employer would perhaps first go to an international labour hire company in order to meet their labour needs, apply for approval to recruit them with Immigration New Zealand and then have them scurry off to Work and Income to check the check that's always been in place,” he revealed.

Now, he said, employers must establish if there are any suitable local candidates before testing the international waters.

"First you've got to do the skills check and find out who might be available before accessing the international labour market,” he stressed.

He asserted that it has always been policy that Kiwis were first in line for New Zealand jobs.

"I can't help thinking that there are some who might have gone to that [international market] too readily and we have got to make sure that our young New Zealanders and all New Zealanders are selected to do the job before overseas workers are,” he said.

On a positive note, the changes are expected to speed up the application process for cases were overseas workers are essential.

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