THE STAND AGAINST THE STAND DOWN - NZ Immigration policy for the Agriculture sector

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Attention NZ Dairy Farmers,

It’s time to take a stand and we need your help!

We are taking a Stand against the stand down and are seeking the proposed stand down periods for "low skilled" workers be cancelled.

Please sign our petition if you agree with any of the following points:

We would like to see:

1.       The proposed stand down, whereby workers on a low skilled work visa would be stood down after three consecutive years on a one-year visa, be amended or repealed. This stand down is proposed to come in effect from 2020.

We ask that proposal be transformed into a policy which better fits different areas of New Zealand and its economy. Standing down people working in trained and skilled roles in rural communities which have large existing vacancies and declining local populations, would cripple the agriculture sector and the communities within it.

We also want to see the term ‘low-skilled’ removed as it doesn’t reflect the skills of these work visa holders.

2.       The Government honour its pre-election promise of regionalising our skills shortage lists.

We patiently await the pre-election promise of regionalising our skills shortage lists and ask the New Zealand Government to please honour its word.

We advocate the position of Herd Manager, based on two years’ experience within New Zealand and a New Zealand attained Level 3 ITO (1-year qualification attained while working), for all employees earning the mid-skilled wage (currently $20.65 per hour). These employees should be placed on the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) across all dairy focused areas of the nation.

3.       Greater access to New Zealand residence for mid-level dairy staff.

The current SMC Residence programme, centred on a university qualification, misses the point. We have a shortage of trades people and mid-level blue collar staff in New Zealand when many of our own people have attained degrees.

We seek Immigration Policy settings that bring in what we need, not more of what we already have.

Starting with the SMC Residence programme, especially outside of Auckland, the points system desperately needs to align with the employment sector’s needs of each regions. We believe this can initially be achieved via an increase in SMC points for onshore work experience in critical areas – such as Dairy Farming and the Trades.

Farmer Details:

Area, closest town, number of cows you are milking, position on the farm