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Takeaways from our panel events with industry experts in 2022

30 September 2022

During August and September this year, our team travelled across NZ and held panel discussions on the ‘Immigration Reset’ with industry experts, which included key managers from Immigration NZ. These events were well attended by employers, HR professionals and recruiters from around the country.

Our panel discussions with Immigration NZ representatives and local industry leaders across the country in 2022
Our panel discussions with Immigration NZ representatives and local industry leaders across the country in 2022

We explored a broad range of themes including how INZ felt about the changes that had been implemented, the planning employers had to undertake to prepare for the changes and the ongoing impact on business, changes yet to arrive and their effects on hiring and availability of talent, how brand NZ is fairing on a global scale and practical advice on how businesses hiring migrant workers (or considering it) can navigate the coming 12 months. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • As of 10th September, INZ had received:
    • 10,924 employer accreditation applications and 10,092 had been approved.
    • 8127 Job check applications and 6834 had been approved
    • 6051 Work Visa applications and 2350 had been approved
  • INZ advised that while the initial accreditation applications haven’t been a cumbersome task for most employers, the renewal / subsequent accreditation process is expected to be quite different and employers should be prepared to submit evidence of the declarations they made in their initial application
  • Many businesses across NZ are yet to be accredited and should be aware of the timeframes of the three-gate process if they wish to hire staff from overseas – Accreditation, Job Check and then the Accredited Employer Work Visa for the migrant worker
  • Two major changes are yet to be implemented by INZ:
    • Partner work rights will be changing from December 2022 for partners of migrants who are not in Green List roles or paid at/ above 200% median wage
    • Changes to the accreditation regime in 2023 that will require employers to be accredited even to employ open work visa holders such as post study work visa holder, working holiday visa holder etc (date and further details yet to be released)
  • INZ advised that the Government’s broad motivation behind all of the above changes is to ensure employers consider New Zealanders for employment before migrants and to minimize the exploitation of migrants
  • INZ also advised that the government formulates the policies and Immigration NZ’s role is solely around executing these policies
  • All industry panellists agreed that employee retention is critical for NZ businesses right now. The key message was that businesses need to be innovative in what they do to retain and upskill their current staff
  • Burnout is beginning to show more and more across the board. It is very important to look after your well-being and that of your people as the next 12 months bring even more uncertainty
  • Brand New Zealand’ is suffering. While we might be beginning to attract tourists, attracting talent to fill open jobs in NZ is becoming challenging as we compete with larger countries with businesses that can offer higher pay packages and easier visa processes
  • Residence pathways associated with the Green List and for pay above 200% of the median wage can be and should be used as a positive influencer during hiring discussions with candidates as it offers certainty and stability
  • A common frustration shared by all was the lack of any advice by the Government on the Skilled Migrant Category Residence pathway to date, which is potentially going to be the only pathway to settle in NZ for most migrants
  • Practical tips to navigate the Immigration landscape over the next 12 months were shared by each panellist

Our panel discussions provided a holistic view of the changes and it’s impact on businesses. We know that many employers and recruiters would like to hear about the more technical aspects of these changes and if you are interested, please register for our upcoming webinar  on 23rd November where we will simplify the immigration policies and delve into impending changes further.

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