NZ Government locks in ‘skilled’ migrant slave wages

By Leith van Onselen

Back in April, New Zealand’s National Government announced modest “tweaks” to the country’s immigration program, which including a $48,000 income threshold for a skilled migrant, as well as only allowing employers to tap lower-skilled migrants for three years, with these people facing an annual review of their visas.

The announcement of immigration curbs came after the Labour opposition took aim at New Zealand’s mass immigration program, which it claimed is choking housing, infrastructure and public services in Auckland, and undercutting working conditions, as well as similar concerns raised by New Zealand First.

The Salvation Army, the Treasury, the RBNZ, and former RBNZ special adviser Mike Reddell had also raised concern that New Zealand’s immigration program does not take sufficient account of whether their are genuine labour shortages, and may be depriving incumbent residents of employment opportunities.

Earlier this week, it was flagged that National would water down its announced immigration ‘tweaks’, and yesterday it delivered on its promise. From Interest.co.nz:

The Government’s revealed details of its partial back-down on tougher temporary work visa conditions originally announced in April.

The main changes include creation of a new ‘mid-skilled’ category and reduction in the bottom limit remuneration for this category to $41,538 a year, instead of $48,859 as originally proposed.

The original proposals attracted a lot of negative feedback from employers…

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said on Thursday he wanted to “reassure employers that the changes announced today are not designed to reduce the number of migrants coming in on temporary work visas”.

“Employers will continue to be able to employ migrant workers where there are genuine labour or skill shortages. However, these changes will help provide clarity around the conditions under which temporary migrants come here.”

The pay floor of $41,538 for ‘mid-skilled’ migrant workers is appallingly low, given the average full-time salary in New Zealand was $60,300 as at March 2017, which of course includes both skilled and unskilled workers. Obviously, providing a pay floor that is 31% below the national average will continue to incentivise employers to hire cheap foreign labour over locals, thus New Zealand’s visa system will continue to undermine the pay and working conditions of locals.

[email protected]

Comments

  1. NZ is the backdoor into Australia.
    120,000 third world Chinese, South East Asians, Indians, Fiji Indians, Arabs, Africans whatever can’t get directly into Australia are now stacked up in NZ doing the ‘transit stop’.
    Over 53% migrate to Australia as soon as they get NZ residency. (NZ Immigration 2016)

    As soon as they gain NZ residency it’s on the plane with the SCV ‘ special category visa ‘ to enter Australia with full work rights.

    Over half the NZ ‘SCV’ holders now coming into Australia are now non NZ born. The NZ born (& Pacific Islanders) are only a small fraction of the NZ SCV intake now. It’s Asians & Indians.
    The actual NZ born in Australia are in net terms going back as the large hump who arrived 1980-1990’s are nearing mature age & have either converted to Australian residency or go back to cash out austrioac super & for NZ welfare.

    The NZ migrant carry trade racket needs to be shut down.
    That helps NZ in controlling its migrant intake (as they don’t stay permanently or contribute) and also the Australian intake.

    NZ / Australian Special Category Visas need to be restricted to only NZ or Australian born.

  2. Jumping jack flash

    I like this bit:
    “… raised concern that New Zealand’s immigration program does not take sufficient account of whether their are genuine labour shortages…”

    and of course since the whole idea of the immigration ISN’T to fill shortages, they will never ever find out the numbers of professionals they have, how many they actually need, and then calculate a shortfall or surplus.

    Rather, the whole idea of the immigration was to use it for wage regulation, in an environment where any talk of regulating wages (ie, lowering) is a fantastic way to lose an election. At least in Australia. I don’t know NZ’s history with regards to ideas like Workchoices, et al.

    And now, the immigration is even more critical that it is maintained because in the absence of any productive activity, more people equals more debt and more consumption to fuel the FIRE economy.

    Filling labour shortages? Ha! That’s just how they try and sell it to the public because labour shortages are good, right? They’re a sign that we’re going so gangbusters we can’t keep up with ourselves.

  3. … and yet year after year, the populace keeps voting for parties with these policies. It’s almost like these parties use other (largeley fabricated) issues to wedge the population. Like terrorism and refugee scares.

    • The electorate is very stupid. Even today, most voters support drug testing the unemployed!

      Do they think they will never be unemployed themselves? Even if they do not take drugs, will it not mean more robberies?