Since the closure of New Zealand borders in March 2020, it has faced an enormous employment shortage, including teachers. As a result, few border exceptions have been allowed.
Taking note of this shortage, in July 2021, the New Zealand Government had announced a border exception for 300 overseas qualified teachers to come to New Zealand.
However, getting a Managed Isolation & Quarantine (MIQ) slot is a huge challenge. Recently there has been a demand for MIQ spot allocation for teachers as the shortage mounts. Only a few handfuls of teachers entered New Zealand under this policy, leaving schools to find replacement teachers for Term 1.
Even if allowed to enter New Zealand for Term 2, teachers still have to book a MIQ slot which is like winning the lottery. There is a shortage of teachers in STEM subjects and the failure to bring in teachers will affect students.
Since the announcement of the policy last July, the Government has moved at a snail’s pace to open the application system for teachers in November 2021. In addition to this, the Christmas holidays left very little time for recruitment, visa processing & MIQ booking. In December 2021 the Secretary of Education shockingly announced that no teachers had arrived as they were unable to book MIQ slots and that they wouldn’t arrive until term 2.
Education Minister Chris Hipkin’s inaction has cost students dearly. There is a demand that some MIQ spaces be kept aside for incoming teachers to enable them to begin from Term 1. The Minister has been criticized for not being able to get teachers before 1 November or having MIQ spots reserved for them. As a result, students already affected by the lockdowns will have to pay a heavy price for this.
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Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.