8 Jun 2012

Easier residency mooted for Samoans

10:29 pm on 8 June 2012

Immigration changes are being negotiated with Samoa to make it easier for Samoans to qualify for residency in New Zealand and get skilled work.

Samoa's government has asked New Zealand to rectify its failure to fill the 1100 special quota places set aside each year for Samoans to apply for residency.

Radio New Zealand's Pacific Issues correspondent says this is mainly because Samoans whose names come up in the ballot can not fulfil a requirement to then find a genuine job offer within six months.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says an agreement has been reached on ways to overcome obstacles such as these.

Mr McCully says New Zealand is also looking at extending a seasonal workers scheme, which recruits people for fruit picking, to include some skilled trades.

More about this can be heard on Insight on Sunday.