Launch of Auckland New Ventures 'HiQ' website www.hi-q.org.nzImmigration
Thank you for inviting me back to help you launch another website resource for new migrants.
I was delighted to hear that following on from the success of “IntoNZ”, the new HiQ website has been developed specifically to link highly qualified migrants and New Zealand employers.
When I was here for the launch of IntoNZ I was very impressed with the amount of detail this website offered migrants.
And of course, it is wonderful to see this initiative working alongside and complementing other successful schemes such as the NewKiwis website run by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.
The success of these programmes proves that this government’s investment in settlement pilot programmes is worthwhile.
Some of you may have already heard me say that this government believes that settlement outcomes are the true measure of immigration policy. My focus is on making sure that people understand that it’s how well people live in New Zealand that matters, and whether or not they decide to remain. If we lose interest in migrants the minute they arrive, then the benefits of migration will not be shared by the migrants, nor the communities within which they settle.
The fact the HiQ website focuses on placing new migrants into jobs that match their qualifications and skills fits very well with the spirit of our New Zealand Immigration Programme.
The announcement I made on Tuesday about changes to the General Skills passmark, and the fact that the increase will not impact on those with skilled job offers that match their qualifications and experience, ties in well with today’s launch.
It also sits well with the work to residence policy, with the Talent Visa and the Occupational priority skill shortage visa. Once the two years employment is complete with ongoing employment guaranteed, then residence is confirmed. This is a win-win for the migrant and New Zealand. The problem that we have experienced in the past has been a focus on qualifications, to the exclusion of employability. The biggest problems arise from qualified, skilled migrants unable to utilise those skills here – the scientist driving a taxi scenario is one that is distressing to the migrant, but also to fair-minded New Zealanders who see it as a waste of talent and opportunity.
One of the most important elements of the settlement experience is realistic expectations that are matched or exceeded. The ‘HiQ’ website is one of the tools that will help match expectation with reality, by not only providing a link to the labour market, but to provide a link to opportunities that will put skills and qualifications to best use.
Can I close by acknowledging everyone who has worked on the development of the HiQ website. It will operate as another tool for the successful settlement of new migrants, which is good for those migrants and good for New Zealand.
Congratulations once again and I wish the website success.