The general impression since the formation of the new government has been that this government – like its National and Labour predecessors – is largely a champion of the large-scale immigration programme New Zealand has run for decades. That impression has only been reinforced by the way corporate interests – probably especially the export education industry – appear to have persuaded them to back off, at least for now, from even the modest changes around student work visas that the Labour Party had campaigned on. But then I noticed this advert in my in-box (and no, I am not looking for a job) from a firm that describes themselves as “public sector recruitment specialists” (emphasis added).
Principal Policy Advisors x 6
· Be involved in a new high profile programme of work
· Own and drive strategic policy and lead complex policy programmes
· Bring your fresh perspective and challenge the status quo
We are looking for six Principal Policy Advisors that are keen to take part in a unique government initiative, across five different policy domains.
As thought leaders, your work here is set to impact the New Zealand economy, its labour market, and immigration policies.
This is an opportunity to challenge your selves to put forward new ideas and bring a fresh perspective on managing one of New Zealand’s biggest and most complex issues.
Six Principal Advisors – who don’t come cheap – is a serious commitment of resource to whatever this “unique government initiative” is.
I don’t know what the project is – perhaps someone could ask the Minister of Immigration or the Minister for Economic Development – but in tight fiscal times, it certainly looks as though some agency has been found the money for something fairly significant on immigration policy. If so, of course, it is not before time.
UPDATE (20/3): A few days after this post this comment came in, and has been showing below.
That seemed quite startlingly incompetent.
I had a further note from Mr Horne this noting that “unfortunately MBIE are still receiving enquiries around this. As mentioned the roles are around the teams involved in the labour market issues and are to fill existing vacancies not focused on a new initiative”. At his request I have elevated his earlier comment into the body of this post.
And, as far we can now tell, there is no new thinking going on about immigration and economic performance, and MBIE has still not published the (well overdue) annual data on approvals etc under current policy (when I asked the other day, I was told it should be out by the end of April, six months late on the normal schedule.