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Visas issued for jobs Kiwis can do: Labour

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/08/2016

Labour says just eight per cent of work visas issued last year were for occupations where there's a skill shortage.

Labour spokesperson for Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway has figures showing 209,000 work visas were issued and 16,000 were for skill shortage occupations.

"The overwhelming majority of the record number of work visas issued last year were for jobs that Kiwis can do," he said on Wednesday.

"Immigration is being used to suppress wages - that's an appalling abuse of the system."

Mr Lees-Galloway questioned Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse in parliament, and the minister rejected the wage suppression claim.

"I reject the inference ... wages are growing ahead of inflation, and jobs are growing right across the country," he said.

He told Mr Lees-Galloway that if he "got out of his ivory tower" and went to the regions he would discover employers couldn't find the workers they need.

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