November Newsletter

In this edition:

Increased employer compliance – Labour Inspectors set to double

If you hold an employment-based visa, or you are looking to secure an employment-based visa, it is imperative that your employer/prospective employer can demonstrate they have good workplace practices, and that they are complying with immigration and employment legislation.  If Immigration New Zealand (INZ) determines your employer is not compliant, or if your employer has history of non-compliance, it could have serious implications for your visa application.

The new Labour-led Government has vowed to increase the number of Labour Inspectors to almost double the present number of 60 to 110 over the next three years, at a cost of around $9 million.  The role of Labour Inspectorates is to ensure that workplaces meet at least the minimum standards and requirements of employment law.  A Labour Inspectorate can come into any workplace at a reasonable hour and interview anyone or ask to see copies of documents relating to wages, holiday, or time records.

With an increased focus of the Labour Inspectorate on investigation and prosecution, and as more resources become available, we anticipate that INZ will discover a large number of employers that are non-compliant.  We expect the Labour Inspectorate to target those areas where they know there is poor compliance with minimum employment standards including the hospitality, cleaning, horticulture and construction industries.

We have already noticed an increase in instructions around immigration compliance issues this year, so it looks like that is going to grow over the next three years.  If you are making a work visa application, you should ensure that all documents are reviewed carefully to confirm that your employer is compliant with the applicable legislation.  If you identify any issues, or if INZ raises concerns about your employer during the processing of your application, you should seek professional assistance and advice.

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

Preparing for work in New Zealand

Finding, securing, and preparing for work in a new country can be a challenge. Creating the appropriate style of curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letter, mastering the interview process, and understanding employer expectations specific to that country, are all essential to success. It is useful for newcomers to understand the way New Zealand recruitment and employment practices work before arriving in this country.

Research is key. Doing some homework on what to expect about job-hunting in New Zealand, and where the employment opportunities are within the country, will give you a good head start. Careers NZ provides a good starting point for those new to the New Zealand job market, and the New Zealand Now website has a useful guide on the labour market and key industries.

It is also worth finding out whether your skills, qualifications and experience are currently required in New Zealand, as this will make finding a job easier. A good place to start with this is Immigration New Zealand’s skill shortage list checker. This site will indicate whether that role is currently on one of the country’s skill shortage lists. These lists contain occupations that are currently in demand, and if you are skilled, qualified and experienced in one of these roles (and satisfy certain criteria), then the road to a work visa becomes a lot smoother. Don’t be put off however if it is not listed – many newcomers succeed in securing employment in the country without fulfilling this requirement.

There are a variety of ways to find suitable work in the country, most of which are listed on the New Zealand Now website. There are also various agencies that specifically assist newcomers to find employment and settle in New Zealand. Many of these are government-funded, and have connections with employers across a range of industries. A list of these can be found on the Careers NZ site.

New Zealand employers expect a particular style of CV and cover letter from job-seekers, and it may be that your CV needs tweaking (or a complete re-work) to fit this style. The most important thing to consider is first impressions. An employer will spend 10-20 seconds scanning a CV, and determine quickly whether it is well set-out, organised, not too long, and can indicate whether you are worth considering for a short list or interview. Don’t list every job ever done, or assume that New Zealand employers will know the names of the companies where you have been employed. It’s essential to strike a balance between highlighting your achievements, without appearing too boastful; bragging is not a trait that is popular with New Zealanders! Focus on the skills that you possess – rather than just achievements.

An effective cover letter can get you that interview. This is your chance to ‘sell’ yourself – it will introduce you, and your skills and experience, and explain why you would be a great fit for the job. It is also an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, and display a bit of your personality. As with a CV, it is essential to tailor your cover letter to the specific job for which you are applying. Refer back to what the employer requires (usually detailed in the job description), and ensure there is a good synergy between your application and the advertised position. Don’t forget to proof read both the CV and cover letter. For more advice on preparing New Zealand-appropriate CVs and cover letters, visit the Careers NZ site. This site also gives good advice on job interviews, which can be quite a different experience in New Zealand!

The most important thing to remember throughout the job searching and application process is to do the research, and cover all your bases. If you make a good attempt to conform to a Kiwi style of CV and cover letter, and make a good sales pitch for yourself, there is every chance you’ll succeed in securing a great job and beginning a new life in New Zealand.

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 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.

Candidates of all skill levels still required in NZ

The top five source countries for migrant workers in 2016 were the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, South Africa and the United States of America.

The United Kingdom, which made up 16.6 percent of work visas issued, has twice as many as those of Germany on 8.8 per cent.

In August 2017 the New Zealand government announced changes to policy to tighten immigration, focusing on changes in the work visa – skilled migrant category. This is ensuring more highly skilled workers are being sourced, however, there remains a huge requirement for both low, mid and highly skilled staff throughout New Zealand.

Enterprise Recruitment and People recently returned from two UK Expos with a number of strong candidates across all skill levels for our New Zealand based clients.

The on-going infrastructural development throughout New Zealand is putting great strain on all sectors, as New Zealand candidates have great choice and as such are attracted to the more attractive roles. This creates additional stress on the less attractive roles which are still required to ensure our economy functions efficiently.

Enterprise Recruitment remain happy to offer a cost free appraisal service for all foreigners contemplating New Zealand as their destination of choice.  Please contact Steve Baker via

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.

Foreign investment in clean and green farming attractive to new government

We used to say in New Zealand that the country rides on the sheep’s back. It meant that our economy depended heavily upon exports of sheepmeat and wool and that if those products were doing well then the entire economy did well.

This saying did somewhat over-emphasise the actual role of sheep in the economy but highlighted the way in which shocks to wool and sheepmeat prices upward and downward would have a definite impact on the pace of economic growth.

These days one might instead say that we ride on the cow’s back. The dairy sector has expanded strongly over the past two decades assisted by the free trade agreement with China and the strong rise in Chinese family incomes and spending on dairy products boosting prices for milk powder, cheese, dairy nutraceuticals etc.

All would be well and good with regard to the economic outlook were it not for the fact that dairying in New Zealand has reached what we call “peak cow” – in reference to peak oil. Dairy farming involves a lot of pollution of waterways from the nitrogen added to the soil then water by cow urine and the extra nitrogen applied as fertiliser to boost grass growing and therefore stock carrying ability of farmland.

This polluting of waterways has become a huge matter of concern for all Kiwis raised with an awareness of the supposedly “clean green” nature of our environment including the ability to swim in any river. But there is more than just a pushback against further dairy expansion from locals (including farmers themselves).

By some measures tourism is now a bigger export earner than dairy. Tourists don’t generally come to see New Zealand cities (though the rebuilt Christchurch might be an exception within five years). They come to see the landscape, take part in outdoor recreational activities, to breathe the clean air. Rising water pollution is generating a backlash from an increasingly important sector – economically and politically.

Subsequently dairy farmers are cutting back on their stocking rates, fencing off waterways, and hefty research is being undertaken into reducing nitrogen use and expulsion. But the farming sector in New Zealand continues to generate greenhouse gas emissions (another issue) for free and pressure on the sector to clean up is only going to grow and grow.

How will farmers respond? They will do what they have always done in New Zealand since the earliest days. At the margins they will change what gets done on their land. They will start to allocate more capital toward the extra processing of current milk output rather than boosting output more. They will look at agroforestry. They will look at growing alternative crops such as nuts, specialised animals, hemp maybe.

What they will do is become increasingly open to the idea of change and that brings a need for capital to undertake that change. Unfortunately for farmers essentially all their capital is tied up in their land and stock. Debt levels are already excessive and worrying. What is needed is an influx of new capital to facilitate and maybe drive change toward reduced reliance upon dairying.

That then becomes the point of focus for foreign investors looking to gain entry into the New Zealand farming sector and relocate here. The government wants to promote farming change but has been prevented from doing it from a punitive taxing angle by the role of New Zealand First in the new three party coalition government. Farmers want to change (at the margin). Green advocates want to facilitate change.

The point is – while this new government is going to make it harder for foreigners to buy land assets in New Zealand (focussed on housing but including farming), they will remain open to the entry of capital which can help restore cleanliness to the New Zealand countryside and rivers. Investors who can bring capital to facilitate such change will have a far greater chance of getting a land purchase application past the Overseas Investment Office than those simply wanting to purchase and keep running an existing operation.

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

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Newsletter – November 2017 pdf

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