Business leader says immigration rules need a shakeup

By Aimee Shaw

Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett. Photo / Natalie Slade
Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett. Photo / Natalie Slade

Business leader Michael Barnett says New Zealand's immigration policy needs an overhaul.

The Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive told Newstalk ZB he was not against immigration, but said the current policy was not working.

A Newshub-Reid Research poll suggests 60 per cent of Kiwis want fewer immigrants let into the country, despite skills shortages in a number of sectors.

Barnett said New Zealand was not getting the skills needed from new residents entering the country.

"Don't turn off the tap, but just make sure that the people that are coming into New Zealand match the skills that business needs.

So that's going to take better communication than what we had in the past. It's a case of not keeping on doing more of the same," he said.

"In days like today, you need to be quick on your feet and flexible, I don't think our system is providing that. So all I'm saying is change the system. It needs tweaking, it needs better communication between Government and business."

Despite Auckland gaining an average of 600 new residents each week, Barnett said they are not filling the employment gaps in construction, engineering, ICT, and health areas.

According to Global Attract's annual Recruitment and Salary Guide, demand for skilled workers in technology and digital jobs is still outstripping supply.

The report found high demand and lack of supply of skilled workers driving contractor growth and mobility among domestic workers in multiple of sectors.

Last year to the month of June the country had a net of 68,000 migrants with 52,932 indicating that they intended to stay long-term.

- NZ Herald

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