The Minister of Immigration has proposed changes to immigration policy to make it easier for the building and construction industry to employ migrants.

Impetus for change?

A shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry is making it difficult to build the houses and infrastructure that New Zealand really needs.

The Minister has estimated that the building and construction industry is about 30,000 workers short. With the Government's Kiwibuild plans soon to commence, this number is expected to rise.

What is proposed?

  1. The introduction of a "KiwiBuild Skills Shortage List", which would identify specific construction industry shortage roles and remove the need for labour market testing.
  2. An employer accreditation or pre-approval model, allowing building and construction firms who demonstrate good workplace practices, to enjoy an expedited process for recruiting migrant workers.
  3. The requirement that all labour-hire companies nationwide be accredited with INZ as labour hire companies, to avoid migrant worker exploitation.

The proposed system is based on the approach taken to employ migrant workers to assist with the rebuild, following the Christchurch earthquakes.

When will this happen?

The Minister expects changes to be in place either later this year, or in early 2019.

Note: these are proposed policy changes only, and are subject to review, following a period of consultation.

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