12 October 2016
NEW SHORT TERM EMPLOYMENT PERMITS FOR NZ (STePNZ)
The Government will be trialling a new fast-track permit type for New Zealand passport holders from 1 November 2016 to take advantage of the special entry requirements afforded to NZ passport holders into the Cook Islands as bona fide visitors up to six months in response to calls from the private sector, particularly the tourism and infrastructure sectors, to meet current labour shortages.
“It was important to Government to find a mechanism that can meet the immediate needs of businesses that would not compromise border control requirements such as health and police checks,” stated Minister for Internal Affairs, Hon. Albert Nicholas, “nor result in long-term labour replacement of our local people”.
The new permit, labelled “STePNZ” (Short Term Employment Permit for New Zealanders), features shorter advertising timeframes and onshore submission and processing of health and police checks within a one-month period. Employment contracts will need to be reviewed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs prior to submission of applications to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration. STEPNZ can only be extended once, totalling a maximum time of 12 months in the Cook Islands.
The STEPNZ Policy document and the Standard Operating Procedures are available for public review on the Ministry of Internal Affairs website or by emailing [email protected].
Written submissions on the proposal can be submitted by no later than 26 October 2016 to [email protected] or delivered to the Secretary, Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Funding of $72,500 has been approved to support the implementation of STePNZ including development of a new online application process to facilitate the new STePNZ permit system. A manual process will be in place until the online system has been developed.
Kairangi Samuela Bredina Drollet
Principal Immigration Director Secretary
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Internal Affairs