A plan to “reset” immigration policy, including potential limits on temporary migrant visas, could put New Zealand’s $3 billion halal meat earnings at risk. The Government’s repeated references to migrant-fuelled population growth exceeding the country’s capacity suggests sectors such the primary industries will need to look elsewhere for employees in the future. Meat Industry Association chief executive officer Sirma Karapeeva says they need 250 halal slaughter workers throughout New Zealand, but have currently only filled 100 positions with a mixture of kiwi residents and migrants on open work visas. The industry employs 25,000 people directly in its processing plants and many staff are temporary migrant workers. She says MIA’s talks with the Government, do not suggest there is much flexibility in Government policies.
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