Over 6,300 overseas healthcare workers have joined New Zealand's workforce since the borders reopened, according to Immigration Minister Andrew Littl
Over 6,300 overseas healthcare workers have joined New Zealand’s workforce since the borders reopened, according to Immigration Minister Andrew Little. Among them are 2,500 nurses and over 2,300 workers in the aged care, disabled, and personal care sectors. Many of these workers entered through the Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme and the Green List Straight to Residence pathways. Some healthcare workers were already in New Zealand on visitor visas and transitioned to work visas after completing a competence assessment. Additionally, there are around 800 people offshore who have been approved for an Accredited Employer Work Visa but have not yet relocated to New Zealand. The government has faced criticism for initially excluding nurses from the straight-to-residence category, but they were added later. To address workforce needs, the government has expanded the straight-to-residence pathway to include 32 new health sector roles. In total, there are now 48 health sector roles eligible for the straight-to-residence pathway, including nurses, dentists, paramedics, and pharmacists.