Another week of NZ politics that was so surreal I’m not sure what the right adjective is to describe it.
In amongst the endless media fascination of who said what to whom, our former Minister of Immigration, Minister Wood made a quiet but important announcement for the transport industry. You can be forgiven for missing it.
Minister Wood announced the extension of the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) to five years and introduction of five-year maximum continuous stay AEWV.
So what? I hear you ask.
Well, this is yet another import piece of the puzzle in helping address the driver shortage. What it means is that transport operators who are accredited employers can now extend staff brought in on temporary work visas (which was limited to 3 years) to 5 years. Why this is important is that it now offers them a pathway to residency after those 5 years. This helps make New Zealand much more competitive in the battle for workers.
NRC has been pushing for changes to the immigration settings for some time, and on the back Government’s announcement in April that truck drivers (Class 4 and 5) will be now have a 2-year work to residency pathway from September, this is another step in the right direction. Driver shortages remain an ongoing problem, and reports of long queues to get COFs are symptomatic of the industry experiencing significant labour gaps in supporting services such as mechanics. Read the full detail here or listen to James’ interview on NZ Trucking Radio 24/7.
We have the NRC AGM kicking off tonight at Alexandra Park at 5pm, and I am really looking forward to spending time with our board, members, commercial partners and sponsors. For those who can’t make it we will be sending out comms next week with all the highlights.
Have a great weekend.
CEO | National Road Carriers Assn
DDI: +64 9 636 2951 | E: email@example.com | www.natroad.co.nz
‘Supporting those who choose to make a living in the Road Transport Industry’ since 1936’