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11 August 2009
A report published by New Zealand think tank Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) states that the country needs to attract more migrant caregivers to look after its increasingly aging population.
Immigration programs to attract migrant caregivers need to be considered, the authors of the report stated -- in particular, permanent migration pathways.
"Strategies to reduce the need for caregivers, as well as making better use of the available caregiver workforce in New Zealand are important and necessary," the report added.
While no particular scheme exists in NZ immigration law that allows for the entry of migrant caregivers, the report found that an increasing number of elderly caregivers in New Zealand are recent migrants.
"As our population ages, so does the incidence of disability and the increasing need for elder care," the report said.
The report went onto say that "Given that a growing proportion of New Zealand's local caregiver labour supply has been replaced by migrant caregivers over the last 15 years, it is necessary to start thinking about a formal migration scheme through which low skilled migrants, such as caregivers for the elderly can come into New Zealand to work, live and possibly settle...".