June Newsletter

In this edition:

Published list of non-compliant employers

In one of our recent articles, we set out our views regarding the intention of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) to implement a temporary ban from securing visas (including the extension of visas) for migrant staff of employers who have been found to have breached New Zealand employment law.

We noted that the list of non-compliant employers would be made publically available, which has now taken place, and will be updated by INZ weekly.

Provided below is a link to the Published Stand Down List (List), which sets out the employer’s stand down period, and relevant legislation that has been breached.

Published stand down list

It is significant that although these measures have only been in place since 1 April 2017, the current List (dated 21 June 2017) already includes a total of 18 employers. It comprises of some recognisably large companies, which we expect are reliant on migrant staff and would be very much impacted by this new regime.

It is also important to note that the stand down period for all (current) published employers is six months. This is the shortest stand down period that will be issued under the new policy, and is triggered by an Infringement Notice issued by the Labour Inspectorate, or non-pecuniary penalties ($1,000 or less) from the Employment Relations Authority or the Employment Court. It will be interesting to monitor the List over the upcoming months to see how many employers are caught by this new policy, and the range of stand-down periods imposed.
This policy is a real threat to all companies who employ migrant staff, and must be heeded, particularly those who have a large portion of their workforce holding temporary work visas. We recommend that employers proactively seek legal advice to review their internal systems and processes for managing immigration and employment compliance before instances of non-compliance arise from identifiable pre-existing issues; and in the event issues are raised that could lead to negative employment findings by the Labour Inspectorate, that advice is sought at an early stage.

For further information or assistance with emigration please contact the Lane Neave Lawyers on + 64 3 379 3720 or email liveinnewzealand@laneneave.co.nz.

New Zealand: a sporty nation

Sport holds a special place in the New Zealand psyche, and newcomers to the country often comment on the heavy emphasis that it seems to have in Kiwi life. Sporting success unifies the nation, creates national pride, and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Many of New Zealand’s great heroes are sportspeople; heroes that children look up to and dream of becoming one day.

Children are encouraged to play sport from an early age, participating in school team sports mid-week, and in weekend games for sports clubs. Saturday morning sport is a New Zealand family tradition. Many children play more than one sport competitively, and only specialise during the high school years as their passion and talent guides them towards a particular sport.

Strong government-funded sporting initiatives in schools enable all children, regardless of social or economic background, to take part in both informal and organised sport. The rationale behind this is that, aside from the obvious health benefits, there is a recognition that sport also teaches children valuable lessons about teamwork, leadership and discipline. Physical Education (PE) is an integral part of the national education curriculum, and there is little opportunity for students to escape some form of sporting activity during the school day.

There is a strong emphasis in New Zealand on development of sport at all levels, and ensuring that there is adequate funding for decent coaching and administration. Government funding doesn’t cover it all, and a ‘sausage sizzle’ or raffle to raise money for a club is not an uncommon sight on fields and courts across the country on a Saturday morning.

Popular sports at all levels in New Zealand include rugby union, cricket, hockey, netball, football (soccer), cycling, rowing, swimming, athletics, golf, sailing, equestrian, mountain climbing, skiing and motorsport. New Zealand’s colonial past is reflected strongly in its sport, with a strong leaning towards those sports played among Commonwealth countries; notably cricket, rugby and netball. Football is particularly popular among young people, with a marked increase in player participation as more migrants from football-mad countries make New Zealand their home.

Success for New Zealand sport on the international stage is dominated by the All Blacks rugby team, with a sprinkling of individual and team success across other sporting codes. The mood of the nation can lift or fall according to the performance of a sports team; notably the All Blacks, who carry the weight of an expectant nation during World Cups. Despite popular belief however, it is not only rugby that captures the country’s imagination. Victory in any sport (particularly over arch-rivals Australia) is celebrated widely. Olympic Games’ success is most often celebrated in water sports (rowing, sailing and canoeing), athletics, and equestrian. New Zealand often punches above its weight, winning 18 medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and ranking 3rd in the world on the population-based medal table. An indication of the popularity of sport in New Zealand is the dedicated slot in the evening TV news – over a quarter of the total news time is spent on sports coverage.

Despite being a nation of less than five million people, New Zealand embraces the opportunity to host large international sporting events and has held several successful tournaments; 1990 Commonwealth Games, 2011 Rugby World Cup, and in 2015, the Cricket World Cup (co-hosted with Australia), and the FIFA under-20 World Cup. Events like these give New Zealand the opportunity to showcase the country as, not only a beautiful and friendly place to visit, but also as a place where sport and an active lifestyle is encouraged.

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

The Chamber offers free settlement support and resources 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 http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz, email your query to newmigrantinfo@mbie.govt.nz or ring the INZ Contact Centre on +64 9 914 4100.

Growth potential boosted by net migration

Statistics for the first quarter of this year indicate a buoyant level of business confidence off the back of the continued infrastructure spend throughout New Zealand.

The Government’s plan to build 30,000 new homes in Auckland alone, across the next decade reinforces this level of opportunity.

A higher than anticipated inflation rate suggested the Reserve Bank Governor would elevate the Official Cash Rate earlier this week. However, it stayed at its current rate of 1.75%, which ensures continued good financial and banking deals.

A relatively solid outlook for economic growth is expected to support employment growth through until June 2019.

The economy’s potential growth rate is expected to be high owing to historically high population growth that is boosted by net migration inflows.

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.


Net migration cycle may well finally have peaked

A well known investment bank recently gave a 40% chance to New Zealand’s housing market suffering a “bust” in the near future. They defined bust as 5% which is plain ridiculous and attention-seeking. A bust would be a fall of perhaps 20% and the chances of that happening are very low indeed.

Too many people for too many years have incorrectly predicted a major decline in house prices. One economist now dabbling in politics has been incorrectly predicting a collapse for around three decades. Another is still keeping his family renting after years of incorrectly predicting a big price decline.

Average house prices have risen in New Zealand for a great number of reasons. Interest rates are now sitting at lower levels than before so buyers can afford more debt-funded houses than was the case previously. The labour market is producing strong demand for staff across a wide range of sectors and this is something seemingly structural for New Zealand because most job growth is full-time.

Average houses being built these days are almost twice as big as four decades ago with far higher and more expensive specifications and inspection requirements than before. Compared with four decades ago houses nowadays are usually bought by households with two incomes rather than just one (male).

Net migration flows are also much higher in structural terms than was the case in the past. As previously noted in this column, in the ten years ending in 1986 on average New Zealand suffered a net annual migration loss of 17,000 people. In the ten years ending in 1996 that had switched to an average gain of 3,000 people. In the ten years to 2006 the gain became on average 11,000 per annum, and in the latest ten years the average gain has been almost 24,000.

New Zealand is no longer just a big farm with differently sized rural-servicing towns. Increasingly young people are holding off from heading overseas, especially as the benefits from doing so are becoming weaker and weaker. The cost of working in a skilled occupation in the United Kingdom has just been raised by the UK government. In Australia subsidised access to tertiary education for Kiwis has just been axed.
These sorts of changes on top of the very strong NZ labour market can do nothing other than encourage more Kiwis to stay at home whilst encouraging more to come back from offshore.

Having said that the net migration cycle may well finally have peaked. The annual net gain with Australia has fallen from a peak of 1,958 in September last year to 773 in April. The flow across all countries has sat near 72,000 for two months and in the three months to April while immigrant numbers were 4.8% ahead of a year earlier emigre numbers were up 6.2%.

There is however nothing much to suggest that numbers will ease all that much, partly because a key driver of the change looks to be fewer students coming in. This likely reflects a crackdown on fraudulent entries from India.

Chances are that the pressures we have been seeing on the NZ housing market will continue for many years, making early home purchase for migrants difficult. But at least the labour market looks like it will remain very strong. But keep an eye on negotiations to form a new government after this September’s general election. It is highly likely that work visa rules will be tightened.

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


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