Govt’s border exceptions are costing Kiwis jobs

The Government’s current border exceptions are failing to respond to the needs of New Zealand businesses and it’s costing Kiwis jobs, National’s Immigration spokesperson Stuart Smith says.

“When a business can’t get critical skilled workers into New Zealand to perform roles where no Kiwis are available, it means they are forced to delay or cancel vital projects. This in turn costs jobs for New Zealanders who would later be employed by those businesses.

“Multiple businesses have contacted National outraged at being blocked from bringing skilled workers in, even when there are no New Zealanders to fill the roles.

“Construction company Rebartec canned 10 jobs they had planned for New Zealanders because they couldn’t get the skilled workers in from Australia to complete a multi-million dollar project. Other businesses have been in similar situations.

“This is simply unacceptable when we should be doing everything possible to boost our economy.

“These workers pose little risk to the safety of New Zealanders as they are still required to quarantine, and the businesses employing them are covering the costs.

“New Zealanders must be first in line for jobs wherever possible. However we will still need to access the right talent from overseas to maintain the needs of our businesses and support our economic recovery.

“By letting these businesses down, the Government is failing to help reset and rebuild our economy to support our long-term recovery. Businesses urgently need certainty about their own situations so they can make financial decisions for the future.”