Government Seeks Skilled Migrants

  • Max Bradford

Immigration Minister Max Bradford is launching a pilot programme next week to attract more skilled migrants to New Zealand.

Mr Bradford said the Coalition Government is aiming for a modest increase in the number of young English speaking migrants with the skills and experience that will assist them to make a positive contribution to New Zealand.

People with qualifications and experience in the computer and information technology fields will particularly be targeted, along with others also likely to be offered a job in New Zealand because of their particular skills.

"We need to market ourselves more positively. There is a lot of competition for young migrants who bring skills, culture and investment to their new country," Mr Bradford said.

The pilot will be launched by Mr Bradford while he is in the United Kingdom next week. On Monday (June 8) he visits Birmingham University where he will talk to university staff and key business people about New Zealand's immigration policy.

The pilot programme is focusing on countries where New Zealand has attracted skilled migrants from before. In addition to the United Kingdom, a programme will be piloted in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Mr Bradford also announced a new immigration target of 38,000 migrant approvals for the 1998/99 year.

"The new target will help the Coalition Government meet its goal of a net gain
of 10,000 people a year from permanent and long term migration," he said.

"The Government doesn't expect a 10,000 net migration gain every year but
that the goal will be achieved on average over a period of five to ten years.

"We cannot control net migration because it includes New Zealanders and
Australians travelling in and out of the country. However, a stable immigration
target of about 38,000 new migrants each year will translate into a modest
net migration gain over the medium term."

About 30,000 people are expected to be approved for residence this year,
compared to 33,683 in 1996/97.

The new target will take effect from 1 July 1998.