The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has told the Immigration Minister to push back against pressure to extend all temporary visas from overseas workers. Tukaki, who is also the former head ot the worlds largest employment company, Drake, has said the calls by Industry groups are “absolutely out of hand” when it comes to the “fact business and industry will somehow grind to a halt when it comes to temporary work visas and overseas workers”.
“We have a situation in New Zealand where tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs or are looking for work and yet at the same time we have the double whammy of thousands of our citizens returning which is essentially seeing a reverse of the brain drain. Teachers, nurses, skilled and unskilled citizens in manufacturing and resources, all manner of industries, are returning home. We have an obligation to put New Zealanders first and that especially comes to the labour market”. Tukaki said
“The skilled migrant list is awash with roles like bakers, early childhood workers, electrical trades, panel beaters and more – all skills that can be found on market and what does industry say? Business cannot afford the higher wage rates to pay New Zealanders. So, it’s about the money and its about cheaper labour – what are they saying to the minister? Load us up by extending the temporary worker visas and let us off the hook of having to pay higher wages. That is not a plan – that’s wage and job theft on behalf of the nation at a time of crisis”. Tukaki said
“For years now industry has lived off the temptation and greed of cheap overseas labour and they have not planned effectively enough. We cannot and should not accept the incompetence by these sectors at the expense of the need of New Zealand citizens needing work”.
“So no the program should not extended and the current skilled migration list needs to be reviewed and reviewed now. The only thing we should be concerned about is jobs for New Zealanders”.
Tukaki also addressed the plight of New Zealand citizens stuck overseas or where their partner cannot enter: “Lets be clear here – every effort should be made to ensure our citizens are returning in a safe way that also keeps New Zealanders safe as well. And where partners and children are stuck we should be moving heaven and earth to get them home.
An example of the skilled migration list: https://skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz/assets/uploads/immediate-skill-shortage-list.pdf