Plan announced by government for cyclone aftermath

The Recovery Visa announced by the Government is being labelled as a positive first step by BusinessNZ, however further work is required on areas such as immigration policy to ensure that recovery efforts can be supported by international skills.

The six-month visa is now available, and has been designed to attract much needed workers to New Zealand in the effort to assist with the cyclone and flooding recovery.

BusinessNZ chief executive, Kirk Hope said it was a well-received move, but there needs to be a large criteria to cover all effected aspects of the recovery.

"Firms need to be able to put forward the right person for the job at hand and businesses need flexibility to respond to the circumstances they are facing.

"The recovery and getting businesses and communities back on their feet will take longer than six months, and firms need to be able to plan for recovery efforts while ensuring they don’t fall further behind on other critical projects and work. Those on work visas in country need the opportunity to move to where their skills are needed.

The visa includes a fast-track period of seven days, which has been enforced for the quickest possible turnaround, and to get workers into the locations in dire need.

Hope also noted that New Zealand was in desperate need for skilled workers before the destruction of Cyclone Gabrielle.

"Businesses desperately seeking skills would encourage the Government to apply the same fast-track methods to address the wide range of skill needs in New Zealand."