NZ Employment & Immigration Landscape

Man beside a truck and looking at the sunset

It’s certainly winter, but we’re staying warm by keeping busy – and we hope the same goes for you!

A lot has been going on since our last newsletter, as immigration changes have been implemented and New Zealand has become quite the changing landscape. Here’s a summary of some of the highlights to keep you up-to-date and on-the-ball.

AEWV Is Underway

On July 4 we crossed the final stage in the rollout of the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) process. The first stage was employer accreditation, followed shortly thereafter by the opening of job checks, and lastly visa applications for selected migrant workers.

July 4 also marked the closing of the Essential Skills Work visa. Now, the AEWV will be the primary pathway for migrant workers entering New Zealand.

The goal of the immigration reset was to simplify the system for applicants by moving all migrant workers under one visa title and to decrease the likelihood of migrant exploitation by requiring all employers be accredited.

The new visa has its own set of minimum requirements from employers, the most notable being the wage floor being set at the median wage (currently $27.76/hour) this will hopefully make opportunities in NZ more attractive to overseas workers. Immigration NZ has faced criticism and worry from industries that rely on low-skill migrant labour but may not be able to cover the costs now involved, resulting in areas such as hospitality and tourism receiving temporary exemptions from the median wage with a lower wage floor requirement in those industry sectors.

2021 One-off Residence Visa Is Closing

The 2021 one-off residency visa, introduced during the pandemic to retain workers in New Zealand, closes for applications on July 31. Originally, Immigration NZ estimated that they would receive 110,000 applications for roughly 165,000 migrants. As of now, more than 100,000 applications have been received totaling an excess of 200,000 migrants comprised of principal applicants, spouses, and dependents/children. This new wave of residents will mark the biggest influx of new residents in recent history and will bring benefits to the economy and available workforce, but also strain onto sectors that will see an increased public demand for resources.

An example of the flow on effects of this wave of residency is school age children entering the NZ education system. It’s no hidden fact that the education sector is short on teachers, with a current estimated deficit of more than 1,000 teaching staff. In this one-off wave of new residents, already more than 14,000 school aged children have been approved and will be joining their parents in the move to New Zealand as residents. That many new students will stretch the current teacher deficit even thinner.

In the year ending April ‘22 we saw a net migration loss of 8,700 people as borders reopened and the world began to revive in the wake of the covid lockdowns of previous years. This net loss is a worrisome figure for immigration analysts and economists and is important to watch as we move forward post-pandemic. Net migration is one of the key indicators of the attractiveness and positioning of New Zealand in the fight for global talent.

Labour Shortages

The unemployment rate is at its lowest in over a decade and we are reaching a point that economists call ‘full-employment’. Due to such low unemployment, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find the staff they need as there is such little supply in the New Zealand labour market.

And it’s across the board, not just limited to one or a few sectors. Agriculture, Healthcare, Education and Hospitality are just some of the many industries crying out for more workers. Labour shortages result in constrained productivity and higher costs across the nation. For instance, ambulance drivers, nurses and medical staff shortages causing delays to surgeries and basic healthcare needs; Airport staff and flight attendant shortages delaying travel and causing baggage issues; or just your local restaurant not having enough chefs on deck to keep the place open 6 days a week. All industries are suffering staff shortages, and this is driving more serious issues like the cost-of-living crisis to become a headache for us all.

Luckily, New Zealand is slowly reconnecting to foreign markets with the border reopening making it easier to bring in new labour from overseas than it has been for the past couple of years.

Migrant workforces are going to become an indispensable resource for filling New Zealand’s skilled labour shortage over the coming years. And, with that being said, CC Recruitment is ready and able to help New Zealand businesses address their workforce needs creating better outcomes and brighter futures.

New Website: CCR Group

CCR Group newly launched website

We’ve launched a new website: CCR Group!


CCR Group is the umbrella to our growing range of brands: CC Recruitment, CC Immigration, CC HR Support, and CC Education (coming soon). CCR Group will become the new hub for resources and services beyond CC Recruitment.


Go ahead and check us out over at – there’s plenty on the horizon, so we’re excited to share this chapter of our journey with you. will still be the home for applications and accessing recruitment services; and the quality of our services are only going up as we grow and expand our offerings. We still aim to be your full-service workforce solutions partner, supporting migrants and businesses from start to finish and beyond.




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