Relief for veterinarians as profession makes Government's new Green List

The inclusion of veterinarians on a new Government Green List is welcome relief for the country’s vets, according to Kevin Bryant, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA).

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the Green List will provide a streamlined and prioritised pathway to residency, incentivising highly skilled workers to relocate to New Zealand long term. The list includes 85 hard-to-fill roles - including veterinarians - to help attract and retain high-skilled workers to alleviate skill shortages.

Bryant welcomed the news, saying it was urgently required to help tackle the current workforce shortage in veterinary practices across the country. "Veterinary professionals have been under incredible pressure ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began," he said. "Being included on the Green List will make it much easier to actively recruit highly-skilled veterinarians to work here."

Visa extensions have also been announced for about 20,000 migrants already in New Zealand to ensure skilled workers can stay in the country.

Announcing the reforms, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "New Zealand is in demand and now fully open for business. "We know a major constraint on business is access to skilled labour."