In response to our Stand Against the Stand Down petition last year, which was presented to Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway with more than 7,400 signatures on it, an open public and stakeholder consultation process against the proposed stand down policy was announced.
That consultation process comes to an end on Monday 18 March 2019 so, if you are yet to make your submission, act now. It’s a relatively quick and easy process but the long-term impacts of making your voice heard will ensure we can continue to support, adapt and grow New Zealand’s agricultural industry for the better.
Here’s what you need to know to make your submission.
Am I eligible to make a submission?
Yes! This is an open public and stakeholder consultation. All individuals, groups and organisations can make a submission.
How do I make a submission?
When is the submission due?
The closing date for the submission is Monday 18 March 2019 at 5pm.
What should I say?
The online survey and Word document have pre-planned questions you will need to answer. In addition to information about yourself (your name and whether you’re submitting it on behalf of an organisation), the survey asks for information such as:
- The sector your submission most closely relates to (Other – please indicate: dairy/agriculture)
- What region(s) your submission most closely relates to
- What your status is, eg. employer, employee
The survey then requires information about the number of applications you have supported in the last 12 months for temporary work visas and what the skill bands are of your employees.
How long does the submission take to fill out?
Most of the answers require a yes or no, or a box to be ticked, so it’s a relatively quick and straightforward process. We urge all our clients to make a submission. Taking 10-15 minutes out of your day will be incredibly worthwhile for your business and our sector in the long run.
Is there any other information I need to submit?
The proposed stand down policy affects individuals and groups within New Zealand’s agricultural industry in different ways, so outline and provide examples of how this policy would affect you. What would be the short and long-term implications on your business, your family and your wider community should migrant farmworkers, who have been with you for three consecutive years, be stood down?
What issues do I need to address?
Immigration New Zealand has outlined what the proposals released for consultation include. There is:
- The introduction of new framework for all employer-assisted temporary work visas
- The replacement of the Essential Skills in Demand lists with Regional Skills Shortage lists
- The introduction of sector agreements which rely heavily on migrant labour
- The improvement of alignments between the immigration, welfare and education systems.
We have addressed each of these issues in our public consultation, which is available here.
Please feel free to reiterate any of the points we have made in your submission. The more we all sing from the same song sheet the louder our voices will be heard.
Is there anything else I should include in my submission?
Our petition focused on three key aspects:
- The proposed stand down
- The Government’s pre-election promise of regionalising our skills shortage list
- Greater access to New Zealand residence for mid-level dairy staff
It would be worthwhile addressing these three points in your submission and how they could impact negatively on your farm’s contribution to New Zealand’s dairy sector.
How will we know if our submission is successful?
We hope to hear from Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway in April as to the outcome of the consultation, so keep your fingers and toes crossed until then!
Can you help?
If you need any help or further information on completing your submission, our team will be happy to help. You can call them on 0800 100 274 or contact your key account manager.