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NZTech Inform – 600 tech visa exceptions!

What an excellent way to finish the year! This morning the Government announced the creation of border class exceptions for 600 much-needed specialist tech workers.  

“The sector is now one of our top three exporters, and jobs in tech have been growing at twice the rate of the general economy. It has continued to expand during the COVID-19 pandemic, placing pressure on the demand for talent. The class exception announced today will relieve some of the pressure on New Zealand tech firms and support their continued growth and export earnings,” announced Minister Clark.

This is a positive move by the Government and shows growing support for the tech sector. However, as we noted in our media release, it is potentially a drop in the ocean given the thousands of open roles and history of 3,500 – 4,500 tech visas in the years preceding the border closures.

Having worked closely with the Government on the development of the soon to be released Industry Transformation Plan there is an increasing understanding of the opportunity tech plays for New Zealand and the nuances of the sector’s needs. This is reflected in the border exceptions which cover a broad range of roles. As well as much needed software engineer roles the visas also include positions like product managers for our fast growing SaaS exporters and interactive media specialists for our high growth game developers.

Work has started on the design and implementation of the application process and we expect the visas will be available in early 2022.

As the year rapidly draws to a close, I’m looking forward to many of our events in 2022, which under the traffic light system are all able to proceed in person.

Our latest addition is the Digital Trust Hui Taumata on 19 May in Wellington and is a headline event for Techweek22. Bringing together the critical foundations for a thriving digital economy – digital identity, cyber-security and privacy – this summit will be a must attend for people and organisations working to get the balance right.

Organisations considering the tech and innovation opportunities in the rapidly growing medicinal cannabis sector can still access early bird pricing (ends 5pm, Friday 17 December) to the MedCan Summit 2022. Tech Alliance members receive a further 10 percent discount, so please email us for the promo code. Attendees can join in person or virtually and plans are in place to ensure New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis summit will go ahead.

As I sign off for 2021, enjoy the festive season, stay safe and well. We’re taking a well deserved break and look forward to reconnecting next year.

Ngā mihi,
Graeme Muller

NZTech We connect, promote and advance the New Zealand Technology ecosystem to help the tech sector and the economy grow.