New Zealand Welcomes Migrants

April 13, 2010

Migrant workers are making a valuable contribution to New Zealand's economy with a new survey showing employers rate them highly says Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman. The Department of Labour's 2009 Employers of Migrants survey released today found 87 percent of respondents rated their migrant employees good or very good. Employers say the positive attitude displayed by migrants and their skills and experience were driving factors behind the high ratings. Over a third of employers also reported that migrant workers had skills and experience that were not available in New Zealand. Nine out of 10 of the employers had at least one migrant on staff and four-fifths had taken on a migrant in the last year. ``Migrant workers play a major role in the economy and this survey reinforces the value they provide to employers,'' Dr Coleman says. ``Historically New Zealand has always needed migrants to plug some gaps in our labour market. They provide employers with the staff necessary to fill certain positions, which helps businesses to maintain or increase growth. ``Their positive impact on the economy is immense. In 2005/06 migrants contributed 68 percent more in taxes than they received in services or benefits which equates to a net $3.3 billion boost to the economy.'' Between 2001 and 2006, 60 percent of New Zealand's workforce growth came from permanent and temporary migrants. The survey, completed late last year by 424 employers who have had contact with Immigration New Zealand, assessed the benefits and issues associated with employing migrants. The report also showed one in five employers felt there were no particular challenges to hiring a migrant.