Immigration September Newsletter

In this edition:

Problems with work visas for employees of non-accredited Labour Hire companies

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) seem to be taking a renewed interest in temporary work visa applications that are submitted for employees to join a business where the technical employer of the individual is a Labour Hire Company.

While there is a specific accreditation scheme in place for Labour Hire Companies who are operating in the region of Canterbury supplying migrant labour into the constructions sector, there is no such mandatory accreditation to be able to place employees under labour hire contracts in regions outside of Christchurch.  In due course, at some point in 2021 (exact date to be released) mandatory accreditation for all Labour Hire Companies will be put in place nationally.

While that may be seen as a very distant policy change, prospective employees of non-accredited Labour Hire Companies should be warned that our firm has just had a case come to us where INZ has pushed back and moved to decline an application for a temporary work visa for an individual (outside Canterbury) who was employed by a non-accredited Labour Hire Company under a very under utilized part of the policy.

Under the Essential Skills Work visa policy an INZ immigration officer must be satisfied that the employer is the direct employer, responsible for such things as payment of salaries; PAYE tax instalments; conditions of employment; and day to day supervision of the workplace/employee.  In the matter that was raised for our assistance, the individual concerned was being contracted as a Hotel Manager, although it was on a long-term basis and INZ is of the view that as the non-accredited Labour Hire Company was not responsible for the day to day supervision of the work place and the employee in question they could move to decline that temporary work visa.

The use of this particular part of the policy should be a warning to all prospective employees of non-accredited Labour Hire Companies.   It is apparent to us that in the lead up to compulsory accreditation INZ are going to undertake greater scrutiny in relation to these types of employment arrangements, and ultimately, they can utilise the policy to decline the temporary work visa application in question if perhaps they feel that the non-accredited labour hire company may not be operating at a level they expect of an Accredited Labour Hire Company.

Interestingly, even though there is an accreditation process in for Labour Hire Companies, this policy could technically be used to decline work visas of those Accredited Labour Hire Companies too.  It is our view however that most likely this particular policy section was overlooked when the labour hire accreditation process was bought in as a mandatory requirement for Canterbury based Labour Hire Companies in the construction sector, therefore, the risk in respect to the negative operation of this part of the policy is really for migrant employees of non-accredited Labour Hire Companies.

Prospective migrants who are securing employment opportunities from Labour Hire Companies that are not accredited should be cautious.  The preference should be to secure a direct offer or make sure you are going to be employed by an accredited Labour Hire Company.  If not, you need to think carefully about accepting a role with a non-accredited Labour Hire Company as the country moves towards compulsory accreditation.

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

New Zealand listed information technology sector

New Zealand has a vibrant, but young technology sector. The Tech Sector is the third largest export in our country and Information technology (IT) is a fast-growing sub-sector.

There are 14 IT companies listed in New Zealand stock exchange (NZX) with Market capitalisation* around NZD3 billion, among them 5 are also dual listed in the Australia stock exchange (ASX). There are an additional 3 IT companies sole listed in ASX with Market capitalisation* under just AUD10 billion (around NZD10 billion) [1].

The most successful story to date is Xero, a cloud-based accounting software company. It started listing on NZX at NZD1 per share in 2007, it’s closing price on 6 Sep 2019 was AUD66.5 per share on ASX. There were ups and downs during Xero’s journey and a few subsequent capital raisings to support the growth of the company. Over the years, there were also companies that did not make it and investment has gone south regardless of whether they were private or listed IT companies.

Under the listing requirement, listed IT companies provide investors easy access to their company’s information through stock exchange announcements and it’s a good place for oversea investors to start to get an understanding of the sector. Investors can also find equity research analysis on some larger and frequently traded listed IT companies.

Listed IT companies’ have interesting characteristics. This type of share is considered to be high-risk potential high-return. They tend to be export oriented and in various stages of growth. As earning are usually to be reinvested for company growth, investors expect returns from share price increase as the company grows, instead of getting a dividend. The performance of the share tends to be very volatile, due to the fact that most of IT companies are small, don’t have a diversified business and rely on a few key contracts or markets. They may not be suitable for every investor. It’s very important for potential investors to do their due diligence and understand the potential risk and return before investing.

Investors need carefully manage the liquidity factor. Three listed IT companies are in the NZX50, the top 50 largest and most liquid stocks in the NZX and one is in the ASX100. As IT companies are continuing to invest in growth opportunities, some may need to raise additional capital from time to time, which may provide investors an opportunity to invest a large sum of funds.

A lot of IT companies have limited resources and are keen to get extra help from strategic investors. Overseas/migrant investors with key contacts and market access in your home country may like to consider engaging and assisting your investment targets either in advisory or member of the board capacities. That’s another opportunity to be part of the local business community.

*All market capitalisation numbers were as of 6 Sep 2019 from Iress.

[1] While investing in NZ companies generally qualified as acceptable investment for investor visa purpose, using Australia dollars to purchase New Zealand company stocks through ASX are not eligible for this purpose.

Article provided by Ally Cui – Director, JB Were.

Demand for skilled staff remains strong in NZ

Spring has finally arrived in New Zealand, although our weather still has to fully cooperate. This time of year reminds us all of why we are so lucky to live in this slice of paradise.

The recent uncertainty surrounding the Geopolitics of Brexit, China v the people of Hong Kong and America/Trump and, more recently, Saudi Arabia and Iran, has created unwanted World-wide economic tension. New Zealand has not been immune from these and other global events. New Zealand’s economy appears to be reflective of this, as the New Zealand Government’s fiscal policies are starting to increasingly come into question, largely due to New Zealand’s recent poor GDP rate.

This, along with the just released Immigration New Zealand Instruction changes scheduled for 7th October 2019, have combined to increase anxiety levels for employers and migrant candidates.

Whilst all these factors tend to reflect a slowing marketplace, the reality is that Christchurch appears to be feeling this more than any other regions.

In fact, the growing pains of the other major cities and regions are still being felt. The greatest inhibitor remains sourcing skilled staff.  This is not just limited to blue collar roles but also through to a number of white collar and senior management roles.

Enterprise Recruitment have over forty years’ experience in the New Zealand market place and have strong networks throughout the country.

We offer a complimentary CV review and feedback on your employability in New Zealand.

We can be contacted via Steve Baker on 00 64 27 2125483 or

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Lane Neave is not able to provide legal opinion or advice without specific instructions from you and the completion of all formal engagement processes.