Chefs and hospitality workers wanted in NZ

Immigration support for hospitality and tourism sectors

After consultation with employers and relevant industry bodies, the Government has decided to alleviate the requirements to bring in certain hospitality workers. These measures are targeted to support the hospitality and tourism sectors.

"As the world recovers from COVID-19, labour shortages continue to be a persistent ongoing global symptom," Immigration Minister Michael Wood said.

Government announcement

Lower requirements for Chefs

A key catching point for the hospitality industry was Immigration's recent requirement (released this July) to make it mandatory for Chefs to hold a qualification that is the equivalent of a New Zealand Certificate of Cookery (Level 4). From 18 October 2022, this requirement is being removed from immigration policy to allow chefs whose talent is solely based on experience, to become eligible for an Accredited Employer Work visa.

"We agree with the hospitality industry that removing the qualification requirement for chefs to be hired through an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) will allow those top rated chefs who have trained at the coal face to come to NZ. "

Wage review

While all migrant workers need to be offered at least median wage (NZ$27.76/hour), there are temporary exceptions for certain occupations in the hospitality ($25/hour), construction ($25/hour), and health sector ($25.39) due to these sectors facing critical staff shortages.

These exemptions will be extended beyond 2022, but with an increase to $28.18/hour in April 2023 and eventually 'median wage' by April 2024.

For all other occupations, the NZ median wage will increase from $27.76/hour to $29.66/hour on 27 February 2023.