Migrant workers helping to build New Zealand economy: gov’t report
WELLINGTON, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) — Migrant workers — increasingly from Asia — have helped create jobs and build the New Zealand economy in the decade to 2011, according to a government report out Wednesday.
Temporary workers accounted for about 1 percent of the months worked for wages and salaries in the 2001 tax year and the figure peaked at 4.6 percent in the 2009 tax year before slipping to 4.3 percent in the 2011 year, said the report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
“Even more profound changes have occurred in the countries from which New Zealand employers source such migrants. Great Britain and Ireland provided most temporary workers in the early part of the decade to 2011, China dominated in the period from 2006 to 2008, and India emerged as the main source of temporary migrant employment in 2011,” it said.
Most temporary migrants came to New Zealand under essential skills categories, working holiday schemes, horticulture and viticulture seasonal work schemes or with family, according to the report.
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the report showed that New Zealand temporary migrant policies were generally working well.
“The government has a clear policy that New Zealanders should be given first priority for jobs, but our labor market has always relied on overseas workers to fill certain gaps and in areas of particular skill shortages,” Woodhouse said in a statement.
“The research concludes that temporary migrants and New Zealanders are complementary sources of labor. Put simply, migrant workers are helping create an economy with more jobs and higher wages for New Zealanders,” he said.
“It is also a reminder — particularly for those prone to hysteria around migration — of the contribution that hard-working overseas workers make to New Zealand.”
It is also significant that with high abortion rates over the past three decades, many Western economies have had no choice but to turn to migrants to fill the economic gap. In New Zealand’s case, some 18,000 terminations are carried out each year.