NZ immigration adds digital spatial expertise to skills list

Published:  13 Feb at 6 PM
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After approaches to New Zealand’s immigration authorities by concerned companies, the description ‘other spatial scientist’ has been added to the skill shortage listings.

For would-be migrants slightly confused by the Kiwi description of the skill, the basics for qualification under the new classification are a bachelor’s degree in either geography or computer science and at least two years of post-graduate employment including work experience in GIS applications. The classification makes qualifying for a residence and work visa far easier.

The reasons behind the new classification would seem to be growing awareness of the importance of geospatial information in business, as pointed out by the Spatial Industries Business Association and Land Information NZ. Research by Victoria University has confirmed a skills shortage in the speciality unlikely to be filled by NZ graduates.

Meanwhile, NZ’s immigration department is locked in yet another deportation battle, this time against an Indian vineyard contractor who has lived in Marlborough with his wife and children since 2002. According to the authority, Prubhijit Singh failed immigration’s good character test.

Singh has had several previous run-ins with NZ immigration, beginning when he arrived on a student visa and failed to attend classes. By 2005 he was ordered to leave, but the deportation order was overturned as his wife is a New Zealand citizen, and by 2008 he was in trouble again for supposedly aiding illegal immigrant workers.

In 2009 he lodged a complaint against his visa denial, and has been working illegally since then, even after his conviction in 2010 of aiding Indonesian illegals to work in the vineyards. With the two vineyards in which he held directorships now in liquidation and his chequered history with the authorities, it’s no surprise that his deportation will now take place immediately if he hasn’t left by tomorrow.
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