Hospitality NZ Welcomes Visa Extensions

Hospitality New Zealand has welcomed the Government’s move to extend Working Holiday and SSE work visas by six months to allow onshore migrants to help fill labour shortages over summer.

“This is great news for the hospitality sector with the start of the high season just two months away,” noted Chief Executive Julie White.

“This is a practical and sensible approach by the Government. It’s rare good news for desperate operators who needed to know early that their skilled chefs, duty managers, and wait staff will be available in this most vital of seasons, and that they will have access to others as they become available.”

White explained that summer trading is key to carrying many operators through winter, and after last summer failed to live up to expectations and threw them into a very tough winter, the sector really does need this one to be a good one.

“With borders remaining closed, to not have those skilled staff available would have meant a repeat of this year. It may still be like that for many operators, but this could give them a fighting chance,” continued White.

“They will now be able to have a slightly more relaxed Christmas knowing they are likely to get the staff they need. Employing New Zealanders first remains a top priority for our industry, and Hospitality New Zealand is doing all it can to train people through its online Typsy programme, but that all takes time, and in the meantime, and while the borders remained closed, we need our onshore migrant workforce to keep us going.”