Immigration Minister, Iain Lees-Galloway has announced he will open the stand down policy for public and stakeholder consultation, after public pressure and a petition led by The Regions.
In September 2018, The Regions team set out to cover the length and breadth of New Zealand with a one goal in mind – to take a stand against the stand down, a proposed policy that would stand down skilled migrant workers after three years on a one-year visa, coming into effect in 2020.
Three weeks, 14 seminars and 7,500 signatures later, The Regions received incredible support from communities as far north as Kaitaia and as far south as Winton. Fast forward to Wednesday 5 December and The Regions managing director, Ben De’Ath, with the support of Barbara Kuriger MP and Chris Lewis Federated Farmers, presented the petition to Parliament.
We are thrilled to learn that our collective voices have been heard by Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. He has accepted the points we raised and, this week, will be announcing public and stakeholder consultation on changes to the temporary visa settings.
For the betterment of New Zealand
This is an exciting outcome, knowing that by standing together against the stand down, we can – and have – made a difference. But this is not the end.
Having the government agree that changes are needed was the major hurdle to overcome, to which we have been successful. Now we need to ensure the voices of regional New Zealand, and all our industries, are heard during the consultation process.
We need to make sure that we participate in this open public and stakeholder consultation and have our contribution towards these changes, which will be drawn up in early 2019, considered.
What you can do
Immigration Minister, Iain Lees-Galloway, will be distributing a press release this week announcing the public and stakeholder consultation. The team at The Regions will provide all our clients with guidelines on potential submissions during the consultation process. We will also provide an industry group template submission available for group signature joint submission.
We urge you to make a submission. We ask you to continue to stand with us against the stand down. We have made the first step to change, but we still have a long road ahead of us. Let’s walk it together. If you have any questions about the submission process, our team are here to help.
Standing up against the stand down – together
The Regions is committed to creating a better New Zealand, and our stand against the stand down has enabled us to change a situation for the better. We know the hard work is not yet over; in fact, it is just the beginning. But we are excited at where our stand can take us, at what our stand can do for rural communities, migrant farmworkers and dairy farmers here in New Zealand, and how it can better our country’s agricultural industry.
Watch this space. Better things are yet to happen!