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Government must make changes to bring in chefs

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 4 October 2022 -


Government must make changes to bring in chefs


Restaurants across New Zealand are having to reduce hours or close altogether because highly qualified chefs are being turned away due to an immigration technicality, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“Staff shortages are hammering New Zealand’s hospitality industry. Yet, under the current immigration settings, all migrant chefs must hold a ‘level four qualification’ regardless of their experience.

“While Kiwi businesses continue to suffer, high-quality chefs with experience working in some of the world’s top restaurants aren’t allowed to come here due to a technicality.

“This is a problem that Immigration Minister Michael Wood could fix today with the stroke of a pen. However, nothing has changed two months after the Minister met with Hospitality New Zealand which pleaded with him to make changes.

“This is a simple fix that would alleviate significant pressure on restaurants. As restaurants in Queenstown struggle to even open throughout the week for tourists, the Government must make changes immediately to allow experienced chefs into New Zealand.

“The hospitality sector has been battered by closed borders and Covid restrictions for nearly three years. But now, when workers and chefs are desperately needed, the Government continues to hold them back based on a ridiculous technicality that could be changed immediately.”


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