Research affirms benefits of temporary migration

  • Michael Woodhouse

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse is welcoming new research from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on the impact of temporary migration on jobs and wages in New Zealand.

Using figures from MBIE, Statistics New Zealand and Inland Revenue, The Rise of Temporary Migration and its Impact on the New Zealand Labour Market is the first report of its kind that specifically considers the effect of temporary migration over the past decade on existing workers.

“The Government has a clear policy that New Zealanders should be given first priority for jobs, but our labour market has always relied on overseas workers to fill certain gaps and in areas of particular skill shortages,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Immigration is an important economic lever, and this report supports the view that policy settings around temporary migration are broadly in the right space.”

The report shows that temporary migration is having a positive impact on the employment and earnings of New Zealanders overall, and particularly in dairy farming, the horticulture/viticulture industry, and the hospitality sector.

“The research concludes that temporary migrants and New Zealanders are complementary sources of labour. Put simply, migrant workers are helping create an economy with more jobs and higher wages for New Zealanders.

“This analysis is a useful contribution for policy makers to help ensure we’ve got our immigration system working for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

“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.”

Report available here: