The Herald reports:
New Immigration Minister Michael Wood is standing by a decision to leave nurses off a fast-track residency pathway even after the boss of the new health agency said changing that would be a “priority”.
On Friday, Health NZ interim CEO Margie Apa told Today FM they were working with officials to support more nurses coming into the country.
It comes after nursing and midwives unions called immigration settings that leave their workforce off a green list guaranteeing residency for certain professions “sexist”.
Nurses, of which the main nurses union estimates the country to be about 4000 short, have to work two years here in the profession before getting residency. Meanwhile, under the fast-track system, specific other professionals including doctors can receive it immediately.
So the Government is discouraging nurses from coming to NZ by not allowing them to have the certainty of residency should they move here to work, despite NZ being short of 4,000 nurses? The head of the new Health NZ says the policy is wrong.
So why are they doing this?
During the meeting, Wood said applying the degree of specialisation to a sector meant they were less likely to leave that profession once they arrive here.
“On the whole it seems less likely someone who works in a highly-specialised area will find employment in a different role.”
So Wood says nurses are more likely to leave nursing? And on what basis does he conclude this?
National’s Immigration spokeswoman Erica Stanford questioned Wood about the settings during an Education and Workforce Committee meeting today.
Stanford said there was no justification for making nurses wait the two years.
She asked for Wood for evidence, but he responded the policy was “based on logic and common sense rather than any particular evidence”.
We’re short of 4,000 nurses and the policy to discourage them from coming to NZ is based on common sense, rather than evidence!