Tuesday, 27th June, 2017

The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce ran the first of two workshops on
Farmers, Tourism Operators, Retailers, Accomodation Providers, Hospitality New Zealand and migrant staff attended the workshop in Twizel hosted by SC Chamber of Commerce.

Issues & options in finding & recruiting migrants, then settling & retaining valuable workers was presented by Nils MacFarlane from Heartland Immigration covering general immigration advice, processing Visa applications and how to Become an Accredited Employer

Understanding the services and support available for migrants in South Canterbury was
presented by Rosie Knoppel, from the Aoraki Migrant Centre covering help with the settlement process, connecting migrants with: Health care providers, Language education services, Immigration adviser, Budget advisory services & Cultural and community support networks. Help with understanding New Zealand’s systems and social services and assisting employers in understanding the needs of migrant employees was also covered.
The one hour workshop continued well after the designated finish time with the key issue of concern being the proposed change to the work-visa rules. Under new proposed immigration rules migrants will need to earn close to $50k per annum to qualify as high skilled migrants otherwise they will need to leave the country after 3 years. Partners and children would no longer be allowed automatic entry and will enter the country as visitors and would need to meet visa requirements in their own right.
“This proposed policy change has serious implications for a number of industries including tourism, farming and the aged care sector” says Wendy Smith “The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce has raised this matter directly with Steven Joyce and is working with other Chambers encouraging the government and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse to recognize that this is not a one size fits all.”
Migrants do not come to New Zealand, and to our districts, at the expense of local employment opportunities. They come to South Canterbury to earn, to spend, to contribute and to create opportunities. We need to continue to grow our economy with the ongoing support of new migrants.

The second Migrant Workshop is being held at the Chamber offices on 11th July at 10am.