Workplace cannabis testing causing record immigration

Published: Wed 7 Sep 2016 10:30 AM
Workplace cannabis testing causing record immigration
Cannabis testing is keeping skilled New Zealanders out of the workplace even if the cannabis is used in their own private time or for medical reasons.
New Zealand must rely on foreign workers because too many locals are on drugs prime minister John Key said.
Defending the nation’s record migrant intake, Mr Key said New Zealand needed to import workers - even for low-skilled jobs - because not all locals were suitable.
He said the government had been looking to reducing its importation of workers from Pacific island nations to pick fruit but farmers did not want to rely on the local unemployed population.
“Go and ask the employers, and they will say some of these people won't pass a drug test... some of these people will claim they have health issues later on,” he told Radio New Zealand.
“So it's not to say there aren't great people who transition … to work, they do, but it's equally true that... they just can't muster what is required to actually work."
Government figures showed a record 69,000 people moved to the nation of 4.7 million people last year – and 200,000 people received temporary work visas - prompting calls from the opposition to limit migration to protect local workers.
Richard Wagstaff, a union leader, said Mr Key’s attack on local unemployed people was a “political stunt”.
"Demonising New Zealand workers and not giving them a shot at these jobs and creating reasonable jobs is the wrong way to go," he said.

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