Hospitality Business Magazine

Govt refusal to Green List chefs stings hospitality once again

Hard-hit hospitality and accommodation businesses will miss out on desperately needed business over the summer high season thanks to the Government refusing to change immigration settings for chefs and other much needed hospitality roles, says Hospitality New Zealand.

“Once again, hospitality businesses have been ignored, says Hospitality New Zealand CEO, Julie White.

“We are beyond frustrated with the announcement that chefs have been left off the immigration Green List.

“We asked for them to be included on the list as a bare minimum, but this was shut down by the Government, saying they can already come in.

“But they have totally missed the point.

“The global shortage of skilled staff means we need more competitive and attractive immigration settings. Chefs are allowed to work in New Zealand, but they have to uproot their life to settle in a country where there is no certainty of residency, versus Australia, where there is automatic residency.

“All we asked for is competitive policy settings that at least give us a chance of attracting people.

“Minister Wood said they wouldn’t do carve-outs, but that is precisely what this is. Continuing to do this is a clear sign the framework is flawed.

“It’s great they have acknowledged some of the failings, but they have left many unchanged, and businesses will suffer because of it. We are one of the industries hardest hit by staff shortages.

“This is a shared problem that impacts the brand and the reputation of the whole industry.

“It leads to consumers not having a choice, added pressure on venues, and burnout of employees for businesses struggling to find staff.

“Hospitality and accommodation businesses are telling us they will have to continue cutting opening and restaurant hours, and days, and refuse accommodation bookings over the summer because they won’t have enough staff.

“This is an ongoing disaster for many businesses on top of the struggles of the past two years.”