Wellington, New Zealand develops immigration strategy

01 July 2008

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Immigration Minister Clayton Cosgrove announced a new strategy to attract and retain skilled migrants to the Wellington region of New Zealand. He said that these goals are the key to Wellington's future growth and prosperity.

"Today one in four people living in the Wellington region were born overseas," said Cosgrove. "So it is vital that we support newcomers to settle here successfully, so that they can contribute to the region's economic, social and cultural life."

The Wellington Regional Settlement Strategy aims to assist new immigrants through 33 "actions", starting sometime in July of 2008. Some examples include:

"Newcomers are a diverse group – culturally and linguistically, but many share the same challenges in settling into life in New Zealand," Cosgrove said. "These challenges include adjusting to a new way of life, accessing work, improving English skills, and learning about our laws and government services."

The settlement strategy is a result of feedback from private sector organizations, businesses, community groups, and immigrants.

"Settlement takes time and involves all aspects of life. This is why it is vital that so many sectors and organisations are involved, sharing their understanding and being responsive to working with newcomers in a collaborative and connected way," Cosgrove said.

New Zealand depends heavily on immigration to augment its labor force. In addition to family immigration, New Zealand utilizes a points based system similar to the United Kingdom and Australia which allows skilled individuals who score enough points to come to New Zealand. If they find a job within 9 months, they can receive permanent residence.