December Newsletter

In this edition:

New Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has announced that the Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL) has been disestablished and has been replaced with a general Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL) that applies across the entire country as at 17 December. For a copy of the list in full click here.

The disestablishment of the CSSL has been anticipated this last quarter as the recovery is well balanced and many significant projects have now been completed. However, the new CISSL is dominated by a number of construction-based roles in Canterbury as the recovery continues in that region, meaning that rather than disestablishing the need for a Canterbury regional skill shortage list the Canterbury demand has simply been transitioned into a generic country-wide construction and infrastructure skill shortage list that will essentially put other areas of the country on an even footing (i.e. the attraction of those particular skilled individuals to the regions concerned rather than just Canterbury).

Many of the occupations listed in the new CISSL are in short demand throughout the entire country; especially in Auckland which is under significant labour constraint to a point where the labour demand for construction and infrastructure projects required there over the next few years is slightly larger than the initial labour demand required to support the main recovery of the Canterbury region.

The disestablishment of the CSSL closes the only regional specific temporary work visa initiative; however, our view is that we are likely to see more regionalised based visa policies in the future. In our view, this is a much smarter way to apply immigration policy; a one-size-fits-all approach does not work, and we are sure that the success of the CSSL (and the learnings taken from it) can be applied in a future temporary visa programme that is more regionally orientated to attract (and retain) the specific skills required for each particular region of the country.

Our team would like to extend our best wishes for the holiday and New Year period to all individuals and businesses associated with Lane Neave.

For further information or assistance with emigration please contact Lane Neave Lawyers on + 64 3 379 3720 or email

A Kiwi Summer

Summer officially starts in New Zealand on 1st December. The weather during this month, however, can be notoriously unpredictable and many newcomers quickly learn that it’s not wise to pack away the coats quite yet. The solstice is around the 21st December, when the country experiences its longest (and potentially sunniest) day of the year. January and February are the warmest months across New Zealand, and very hot days can extend well into March.

The average temperature throughout the country ranges from 21 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius, although the country’s position and unique topography mean that there are marked differences among the regions. Central Otago, that can shiver in -10 degrees Celsius during winter, is among the hottest and driest regions over summer. Some regions, such as Canterbury and Marlborough in the South Island suffer regular droughts over summer and the dry, brown landscape is a reminder why there are restrictions over the use of water, and the lighting of outdoor fires. Humid Auckland and Northland, on the other hand, remain green and lush throughout the season.

Many New Zealanders take advantage of the warmer weather to head away on a summer break. Some businesses (such as most professional firms) have a ‘shut down’ period over Christmas and New Year that can extend to up to 2 weeks. This means that employees have to take ‘compulsory’ leave over this time. Others remain open and operate on a skeleton staff, while many other  industries thrive at this time. This includes retail and hospitality, and those industries that rely on year-round activity like farming, manufacturing, and producing.

Many city-dwellers take the opportunity of a break from work to escape to a favourite holiday spot, usually close to beaches or lakes. New Year is celebrated enthusiastically by young people in popular holiday locations such as Queenstown and Marlborough in the South Island, and the Coromandel and Mount Maunganui in the North Island. Many families dust off the camping gear or book a bach (holiday home) in a slightly less party-oriented region.

Schools finish for the year in mid-December and don’t reopen until the end of January. For many parents, this long summer stretch can be tricky to manage if they don’t have family or friends to spread the babysitting load. Fortunately most communities have extensive school holiday options to suit even the most fussy of children, with activities that range from sports, to craft, coding, and cooking.

Christmas for newcomers can be unusual, particularly for those accustomed to a wintery festive season. It is usually a relaxed affair; often a BBQ, a visit to the local park or beach, family gatherings, and food and drink consumed well into a long, warm evening. Typical Kiwi festive fare includes ham and chicken or turkey, salad, and for dessert fresh strawberries and ice-cream, and pavlova (a uniquely Kiwi meringue dessert). A cold beer and a glass of “bubbly” (sparkling wine) are popular thirst-quenchers.

Some tips and tricks to make the most of a Kiwi summer include:

  • Be prepared for crazy crowds in shopping malls on the ‘sale’ days leading up to Christmas – and for the month following. Kiwis like a bargain.
  • Avoid travelling on the roads on Boxing Day morning – the queues of traffic (including hundreds of campervans) heading out of many of the main centres can be frustrating.
  • Catch an uber or taxi home from the work Christmas party – drinking alcohol and driving is not tolerated.
  • Appreciate how severe the Kiwi sun is – and slip, slop, slap and wrap: slip into a shirt, and into some shade, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap on a pair of sunglasses.
  • Swim between the flags at beaches where there are patrols.
  • Have fun in the sun!

Article provided by Lisa Burdes – SkillsConnect Canterbury Business Advisor at the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber offers migrant employment assistance, and support to employers of migrants in Canterbury. This service is fully funded by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). If you have questions about living and working in New Zealand, you can visit, email your query to or ring the INZ Contact Centre on +64 9 914 4100.

Wellington leads the way for job opportunities

Business confidence in New Zealand slumped to a nine-year low in October, but no one told the job market. The latest data on Employment Trends shows opportunities are continuing to rise across the country. Job ads increased by 9.7% in October compared to the same time last year. Wellington was out in front with an 11.3% lift. New Zealand’s capital also had a strong salary result, with pay packets growing above the national average at 2.9%. Meanwhile, average salary growth across the country reached 1.8% compared the same time last year. Industries experiencing the highest salary growth include Engineering, Construction and Information & Communication Technology (ICT). Salaries in Healthcare & Medical are continuing to rebound and Education & Training is also on the rise.

Trends across the industries

The majority of industries experienced year-on-year job ad growth. Opportunities in ICT rose by 18% over the same period. Competition for talent is heating up as the year winds down. While flexibility is a growing expectation among candidates, salary remains the key driver of employment choices, work-life balance is also a high priority among candidates.


Continued growth in overseas visitor numbers, and a buoyant domestic tourism market, drove tourism spending to $39.1 billion in the year ended March 2018, according to Stats NZ. Total tourism expenditure was up 7.7 percent ($2.8 billion), following a 2.5 percent increase in the previous year. Other key provisional estimates for the year are:

  • International tourism expenditure contributed 20.6 percent to New Zealand’s total exports of goods and services.
  • Tourists generated $3.7 billion in goods and services tax (GST) revenue, with $1.7 billion coming from international tourists.
  • Tourism generated a direct contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) of $15.9 billion, or 6.1 percent of GDP.
  • The indirect value added of industries supporting tourism generated an additional $11.1 billion, or 4.3 percent of GDP.
  • 216,012 people were directly employed in tourism (8.0 percent of the total number of people employed in New Zealand), an increase of 2.6 percent from the previous year.

Christmas & New Year – 2018/19

Enterprise Recruitment wish everyone a safe and Happy Christmas and look forward to 2019 with renewed optimism. New Zealand remains a destination of choice for candidates exploring new career opportunities.

I look forward to again assisting any candidates who want an appraisal of their chances of employment throughout New Zealand..

Article provided by Steve Baker – Enterprise Recruitment and People.

Enterprise Recruitment and People has a national presence. We remain interested in providing obligation free advice to offshore candidate’s about their chances of securing employment in New Zealand. Steve can be contacted on or 00 64 3 3530680.

The fluctuating NZ dollar

The rate of exchange between the money of a country one is migrating to and the home country is a bit of a double-edged sword. If the destination currency is relatively weak then that looks good in terms of how much one gets when exchanging funds being taken in and how expensive houses look compared with those back home. But a weak destination currency also means wages can look rather low when compared with back home and if a migrant sees a chance that they will return home one day the potential lump sum they might repatriate eventually could look quite low.

With regard to the New Zealand dollar there have been times in the past when it has been exceptionally weak. In early-2009 as the global financial crisis was still underway the NZD was trading for a while below US50 cents from above 82 cents a year earlier. It hit 35 British pence from above 40 a year before and 47 Japanese yen from above 85.

The NZD’s weakness came about as investors around the world got very cautious and wanted their funds either at home or in the currency of a country traditionally considered a safe haven in times of stress. Switzerland and Japan rank top as safe havens. NZ by contrast rates poorly because of our dependence upon the primary sector for exports which can fluctuate wildly in price, and our high banking sector dependence upon offshore funds to finance domestic lending.

Were another global crisis to come along would we see the same sort of collapse in the NZD? Currently the NZ currency is buying near 69 US cents, 54 British pence, and 77 Japanese yen. The NZD would certainly fall and along with the Australian dollar has a special vulnerability to weakness in China’s economy as over 25% of NZ physical exports go to China.

But things are not the same now as they were ten years ago. For one thing back then pre-crisis over 40% of the money which NZ banks were lending within NZ came from foreigners. Now that proportion sits near 20%. Vulnerability of the NZ banking sector, economy, and exchange rate to a surge of pessimism amongst foreign investors is much less than before – especially as little of the debt is now for only short time periods.

Another change is that NZ has achieved a very good growth record post-GFC in comparison with other economies, with growth in GDP and jobs totalling 15% in just the past four years. The government’s accounts are into their fifth year of surplus, net government debt to GDP is near 20%, and the terms of trade are near a record high.

This latter measure is important. It used to be considered that export dependence upon agriculture was a bad thing and successful nations needed to focus on manufactured goods exports. But such goods tend to fall in price as new and cheaper competitors keep appearing. Meanwhile global demand for quality-assured food in particular has soared and NZ is well placed to benefit from this rise in demand given the availability of good soils, water, and some robust free trade agreements.

So as potential migrants consider a possible move to New Zealand and ask themselves what might happen to the NZ dollar, it pays to keep in mind that although any global crisis will definitely push the NZD lower, a repeat of the 2008-09 experience is very unlikely. Oh, and it pays to note that one year after hitting US 50 cents in 2009 the NZD was back above 73 cents, 66 Japanese yen, and 47 British pence.

Article provided by Tony Alexander – Chief Economist, Strategy & Business Performance, BNZ. 

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