New Zealand

Hospitality New Zealand welcomes visa extensions for onshore migrants

Rare good news hands staff-strapped operators a fighting chance with high season just weeks away

Hospitality New Zealand (HNZ) has joined in the praise for the NZ Government’s move to extend Working Holiday and SSE work visas by six months to allow onshore migrants to help fill labour shortages over summer

HNZ Chief Executive, Julie White said this is great news for the hospitality sector with the start of the high season just two months away.

“This is a practical and sensible approach by the Government,” she said.

“It’s rare good news for desperate operators who needed to know early that their skilled chefs, duty managers, and wait staff will be available in this most vital of seasons, and that they will have access to others as they become available.

“Summer trading is key to carrying many operators through winter, and after last summer failed to live up to expectations and threw them into a very tough winter, we really do need this one to be a good one.”

Ms White said that with borders remaining closed, operators unable to access skilled staff would have faced a repeat of this year.

“It may still be like that for many operators, but this could give them a fighting chance” she said.

“They will now be able to have a slightly more relaxed Christmas knowing they are likely to get the staff they need.”

Employing New Zealanders first, she said, remains a top priority for the industry, and Hospitality New Zealand is doing all it can to train people through its online Typsy programme.

“But that all takes time, and in the meantime, and while the borders remained closed, we need our onshore migrant workforce to keep us going.”

Mike Parker-Brown

Mike Parker-Brown is a UK-trained and qualified journalist and an award-winning travel communicator with more than 30 years experience. Since 2002, Mike has worked as a freelance writer and PR consultant providing his services to major organisations in Australia and internationally in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, recruitment and export marketing sectors.

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