Hospitality New Zealand is looking forward to the announcement of a relaxation in immigration settings to allow skilled chefs into New Zealand.
Chief Executive Julie White said she understands the Minister of Immigration will make an announcement next week, and it will be welcomed by the industry.
“This would be great news and we are hopeful that the announcement will be on Monday.”
Hospitality New Zealand has been working overtime in recent months, writing and talking to the Minister and officials about including or relevant industry experience in the migrant chef criteria settings.
“From what the Prime Minister has said it seems he has been listening. We can only hope so. This would be a significant move for the industry which has been starved of skilled chefs,” continued White.
“Till now only chefs with the equivalent of New Zealand’s level 4 cookery qualifications have been allowed in, but very few have been applying because that qualification is not relevant for overseas skilled chefs.
“Take Jamie Oliver as an example, he has a qualification in home economics so he would not meet the current criteria to enter New Zealand to work as a chef. Most highly skilled migrant chefs have honed their skills by working in the kitchen, for some this experience includes being under the stewardship of Michelin-Star chefs.”
White noted that New Zealand has been missing out on great talent because of this restriction.
“We’re looking forward to this announcement because every day counts. Without getting these experienced people, some businesses have been forced to shut – that’s how vital it is.”