New Zealand

A recipe for disaster as chefs excluded from immigration ‘Green List’

Decision will hurt both businesses and customers

Hospitality New Zealand (HNZ) says hard-hit hospitality and accommodation businesses will miss out on desperately needed business over the summer high owing to the Government refusing to change immigration settings for chefs and other much needed hospitality roles.

Hospitality NZ CE, Julie White

Hospitality NZ Chief Executive, Julie White said once again, hospitality businesses have been ignored.

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“We are beyond frustrated with today’s announcement that chefs have been left off the immigration Green List,” she said.

Her comments follow Immigration Minister Michael Wood’s announcement of a suite of measures to further support New Zealand businesses through the global labour shortage and attract more high skilled workers long term.

“We asked for them (chefs) to be included on the list as a bare minimum, but this was shut down by the Government, saying they can already come in. But they have totally missed the point.

“The global shortage of skilled staff means we need more competitive and attractive immigration settings. 

Chefs, Ms White said, are allowed to work in New Zealand, but they have to uproot their life to settle in a country where there is no certainty of residency, versus Australia, where there is automatic residency.

“All we asked for is competitive policy settings that at least give us a chance of attracting people.

“Minister Wood said they wouldn’t do carve-outs, but that is precisely what this is. Continuing to do this is a clear sign the framework is flawed.

“It’s great they have acknowledged some of the failings, but they have left many unchanged, and businesses will suffer because of it.

Ms White said the hospitality industry is one of the industries hardest hit by staff shortages.

“This is a shared problem that impacts the brand and the reputation of the whole industry,” she said.

“It leads to consumers not having a choice, added pressure on venues, and burnout of employees for businesses struggling to find staff.

“Hospitality and accommodation businesses are telling us they will have to continue cutting opening and restaurant hours, and days, and refuse accommodation bookings over the summer because they won’t have enough staff.

“This is an ongoing disaster for many businesses on top of the struggles of the past two years.”

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