Immigration reset – what does this mean for business?


In May the government announced plans to change the way immigration is managed. While light on detail of what and when changes may occur, there are some clues for the business community.


  • Reduce reliance on lower-skilled migrants through the introduction of mandatory employer accreditation in November 2021. The expectation is employers will upskill more kiwis.

  • Work rights for partners of temporary workers included in future reforms.

  • Skilled Migrant residence settings to change. Review to start later in 2021.

  • Increasing border exceptions to assist economic recovery while the border remains closed.

  • Investment Attraction Strategy to encourage high-value international investment into New Zealand.

  • Attract people to New Zealand who want to make large, long term investments in business and jobs.

  • Increasing the number of visa applications available online and move to phase out paper-based applications.

  • More resources to combat migrant exploitation.


This reset aim appears to be reducing the number of migrant workers in New Zealand at any one time. Employers will be disappointed given there are severe skill shortages throughout all industries. As we learn more about this new direction, we will include any changes that impact business in our newsletter.

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