National road freight association Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a residency pathway for migrant truck and bus drivers as a relief for struggling transport companies.

Minister of Immigration Michael Wood announced today that a time limited residence pathway for truck and bus drivers will be introduced through a sector agreement. Officials will consult with transport sector representatives, including Transporting New Zealand, in the development of the agreement.

The announcement follows a recent meeting between Transporting New Zealand and Minister Wood to discuss the impact of labour shortages on the trucking industry and wider economy.

“We’re delighted to see the Government announce some short-term relief for transport companies who are doing it tough,” says Transporting New Zealand Chief Executive Nick Leggett. “Many transport companies have trucks parked up at depots because they can’t find drivers. That’s a major drag on economic productivity, it’s one of many factors driving up inflation, and it’s tough on drivers.”

While Transporting New Zealand is pleased with the announcement, the terms of the residence pathway still need to be developed. “As always, the devil will be in the detail, and we’ll be working with Government officials and other industry participants to ensure this residence pathway delivers for the sector,” says Leggett.

A time limited residence pathway is great news for the industry, but Transporting New Zealand says further work is needed to develop New Zealand’s local driver workforce. “Migrant labour is an important supplement, but the long-term solution lies in encouraging New Zealanders into a rewarding driving career,” says Leggett. “Our industry traineeship, Road to success, provides employers and trainees with a great opportunity to build successful careers in the trucking industry.”


For further information, contact Nick Leggett, chief executive, Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.