Foreign IT Workers Need Not Apply There Is No Shortage

12 Nov 2012

Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales, first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand taken from places around the net.

Today’s tale was first published on a for-profit emigration site, the author tells a familiar story about how difficult it is for migrants to find jobs in the IT sector. There is simply no demand for foreign workers because employers prefer NZ experience and connections. He says there is no shortage in this sector.

If you are trying to emigrate to New Zealand to work in IT this is for you, our advice is to save your money and look elsewhere.

I’ve largely given up on getting an NZ job or moving to NZ.  I  thought NZ had a high demand for workers in my field (IT), as the NZ gov lists the IT sector on a couple different skill shortage lists, but the catch-22 I described seems to prove that there is, in reality, no significant skills shortage in the IT field.  I can believe that IT workers in NZ don’t have any problem getting a job, but the fact is that  if there truly was a substantial IT worker shortage in NZ, then IT employers would be welcoming foreign IT workers.  But according to the  Seek job site, they are apparently not as just about every job I’ve ever  seen there (all but one, which wasn’t in Auckland) requires that applicants have a legal right to live and work in NZ to even apply.  That tells me they are doing just fine with the the current domestic supply of IT workers.

If I was under 30 and could get the Working Holiday Visa, and could then  be in the pool to be considered, that would be one thing, but I’m not so my options are limited.  I could pursue a skilled migrant visa, but I  understand that’s 9 month processing time, and given my circumstances, that requires more patience than I have.

I don’t blame NZ Immigration for requiring a job offer to get a worker visa.  It’s logical that they instituted this condition as a way of verifying, from NZ employers, that the worker shortage really exists, and the employers are pretty much saying that the shortage does NOT, in fact exist.  It’s the job of NZ Immigration to protect NZ workers, and  their current policy does that well.

Things can change so maybe I’ll get there yet, but for now, I’m exploring other career possibilities that have nothing to do with NZ.

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Migrant Tales – Charlie’s Tale: IT whiz can’t find a job:

Charlie is American, a high end IT and Corporate Governance Professional with many years of experience. He describes his emigration to New Zealand as being the single greatest tragedy of his life.

“Thank you!

Thank you for telling the truth about New Zealand!

Before coming here – I was told for six years what a wonderful place this was, how “forward thinking” the government and corporations were, how “progressive” the culture was, and how “friendly” the New Zealand people were.

As a high end IT and Corporate Governance Professional with 24 years of experience, I was tired of the hated in the USA, and after being told for those six years of research that I would be welcome in New Zealand, I packed up my cat and came here.

Well, after almost three years, and being unemployed for the last 16 months, and having lost everything in the world I had – I must admit that I have failed completely.

This has been the single greatest tragedy of my life.

One of many examples: The Electrical Commission (a ministry of government) told a friend of mine that they had just hired (a German), that “we would tolerate a German – but we would NEVER hire an American.” At the time they had 97 jobs open that they could NOT fill with kiwis.

I have been told that the reasons I cannot have a job in New Zealand is:

“You are too over qualified” (this should be the national anthem of New Zealand – as every foreigner I know has heard this over and over again). “You are a foreigner – we would never hire a foreigner”. “You are an American – we would never hire an American.”

As for being friendly – I have not had one date with a woman since I arrived here. I have been told repeatedly, and with no hint of regard or regret that: “Yes, we’re kiwi women, we hate American men!”

Corporate management in New Zealand is directly out of the “kindergarten school yard” – I was black listed after two newspaper articles came out on me, asking “why can’t this IT Whiz find a job?”

Gen-i (Telecom) hired me immediately – only to fire me five months later.

I have been told time and time again that Kiwis: “hate, loath, despise, and fear” foreigners – and the higher your level of professional background is the less likely you will every get a job here.

I came here by myself, so I feel so very sorry for the families that came here, believing in that lie of a “quality of life”. There is no “quality of life” here – not even for the kiwis themselves.

I have never seen a people so terrified of “reality”. And I did not think it possible to have an entire culture based on “lying”.

Why? Because you cannot be afraid of reality and tell the truth.

New Zealand is a collective “fantasy world” which – because of fear – is falling backwards through time at an exponential rate: in other words, its dropping like a rock towards the Stone Age.

One of the many shocks I suffered here when I got off the plane in August 2007 was the realization that New Zealand was 25 years behind the rest of the entire world. And now, barely three years later – it is 35 years behind the rest of the entire world – and no one cares.

I know foreign PhD’s here who came to be part of the “quality of life” and are scrubbing test tubes and mopping floors (based on the fact that actually have real experience in their profession).

I know doctors and executive managers who are driving taxi cabs (based only on the color of their skin).

I know industrial designers who are making beds (based only on the color of their skin).

I know Project Managers who are pressing sheets (based only on the color of their skin).

And always, there is the “rage” – that rage that is barely beneath the surface of all kiwis. It comes from being afraid all the time. It is the only way they can express themselves.

Go to a “Sevens” after party on Courtney Street and you can see it (or after midnight any night). They are going to have a good time – and they do NOT care who they hurt.

And the streets are a sea of broken beer bottles – and we all KNOW not to be out after midnight. That is when what little control the kiwis have over their rage is let loose.

The crime rate here is off the charts, but because that does not sound “good” – it is never reported.

I worked for ten months for one small company here, with 15 employees. Two of them had been attacked by drunken gangs with empty beer bottles (the kiwis’ weapon of choice) on two separate occasions. What are the odds of that?

Over one million kiwis have fled New Zealand. The “best and the brightest” that New Zealand has to offer are gone. So, if the “best and the brightest” are gone – who does that leave behind?

An additional 100,000 kiwis leave every year – those coming up through university, and those who just cannot take the abuse any more.

Again – living in a fantasy world means you can never face “reality” – you can never tell the truth.

I am an aboriginal in my own country, but I never knew bigotry, prejudice, or racism until coming to New Zealand.

To this day, I still get emails from New Zealand Immigration that say things like: “yes, its true that skilled migrants with proper work visas and job are randomly being deported, but that’s no reason for you not to come!”

The new Prime Minister, Mr. Key, made a statement last year about how New Zealand did not have enough “high end professionals” and that was why the corporations were loosing money.

He then went on to say that he would pass a law that would make it easier for high end professionals to “bring their money with them”.

After reading that – I was physically sick for a month. I then wrote to Mr. Key, assuring him that I was already here, was a high end professional, and I needed a job.

I went on to say that I could easily find him all the high end professionals that he needs – they are already here: washing dishes, cleaning toilets, and digging ditches.

Why? Because they have been “blacklisted” by the very corporations that Mr. Key was talking about.

In New Zealand, if you actually know how to do your job, you are considered a threat, and must be removed from sight.

This same story about “not having enough high end professionals” was told back in 2007 after I first got here, and which is why those newspaper stories were done on me. They got me two jobs, and then cost me everything I had.

Please encourage your friends and families to speak out here, and in your own countries. Convince people NOT to come to New Zealand.

Also read

An IT Professional Puts His Finger On IT

15 thoughts on “Foreign IT Workers Need Not Apply There Is No Shortage

  1. The IT Industry in New Zealand is virtually non-existent, sorry if I have to say it but it has to be said, I am doing a Bachelor in IT majoring in Netowrking which includes setting up Routers and Switches and more. Having done work experience lately it is no surprise many IT companies compete against each other for small business and government contracts, after seeing this, I believe relocating to Asia or the US is a better idea

  2. So I have been doing work experience in the IT industry lately, enough seen, most IT business in Wellington rely on government contracts and if trying to do business with other companies, they have to go out of region, NZ’s IT industry is what I would term as BARE BONES.

  3. I’m sorry for your experience in NZ.

    However, as a Kiwi who works in IT, I don’t agree with a lot of this. Where I used to work in Auckland, we almost exclusively hired foreigners, including Americans, as we couldn’t hire the talent from within NZ. We had more foreigners in our department than Kiwis, including people from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Romania, Australia, the UK, Germany, India, Pakistan, China, and Canada. We had a department of about 35 people. Plenty came “on holiday” and returned a month later with their family in tow.

    These same foreigners had little problem moving on to other jobs afterwards.

    • As usual, I find it amazing that people who identify themselves by just one name – so everything is completely deniable, say
      However, as a Kiwi who works in IT, I don’t agree with a lot of this. Where I used to work in Auckland, we almost exclusively hired foreigners, including Americans, as we couldn’t hire the talent from within NZ.
      … then “forget” to name the company in any way, shape or form.

      Almost like saying: “Well, somewhere else over here, things didn’t turn out like that for those people, so … I can only think that YOU are the problem”

      • P Ray, please provide me with your full name and a copy of your government-issued ID. I’d like to verify your identity to ensure that nothing you wrote is deniable.

        I just gave my experience; I never commented on the poster’s circumstances. I suggest you remove the emotion and re-read my post.

        The company is Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. They’re based in East Tamaki. The team is called “ICT”, information communications and technology.

        Please also feel free to read my comments in other threads. I have agreed with many of the aspects that have been raised on this site. (



        • P Ray, please provide me with your full name and a copy of your government-issued ID. I’d like to verify your identity to ensure that nothing you wrote is deniable.
          Seeing what happens to people who have their full names published (e.g. k**james on expatexposed), there is a large and vengeful population of NZ’ers … who’d like to track those who have doubts about Godzone).
          Just a question, about this score-settling … are you aware if Ranana in the UK “advises” people to moderate their opinions?

    • No one at first. I need to make sure that I can make enough for myself to survive. If that doesn’t happen, I won’t be hiring anyone.

      • That’s not what was asked though.

        I’m an NZer (I refuse the term ‘kiwi’) and a lot of what’s said on here I have seen for myself and agree completely. What’s even more sad is how kiwis do the same shit to each other while blaming foreigners for pretty much EVERYTHING.

      • As mentioned in the UK vs. NZ thread, it’s difficult for me to change jobs with my needing another work permit. I receive that feedback all the time from HR people and recruiters.

        Correct, my desire to travel and experience different cultures will still be there. When I left NZ, I didn’t know any better. Now I do. NZ is no utopia — your site makes that clear.

    • The company is Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. They’re based in East Tamaki. The team is called “ICT”, information communications and technology.

      What you didn’t mention, was when you worked there … as going over the records, Haier Group of China, acquired Fisher & Paykel … at the end of 2012.
      Even if you worked there earlier … it was already in financial trouble since 2009.
      Maybe that’s one of the reasons behind “sudden diversity” at that “New Zealand company”, heh heh 🙂
      People forget a lot of prejudices, when having them means they’re going to be running a business at a loss …

  4. Even New Zealand’s own youth who are studying to become IT Industry certified or studying at establishments like WELTEC, Victoria University, UNITEC, Massey University and etc have difficulty looking for work experience let alone any form of paid employment in the IT Industry in New Zealand. This is what I learnt from a lot of youth

    It is who you know in the Industry
    IT employers will not hire you if they find you’re not adjusted to their culture.

    Overall most of the youth that study with me in the Bachelor in Information Tech are planning to leave New Zealand because of their top heavy student loan, bad wages and bad employment prospects

    • In many countries, the term “labour shortage” has been debunked into “labour shortage myth”.

      In my mind there are only 3 devious excuses for using the words “labour shortage”:

      Companies want skilled, educated domestic workers(that they didn’t spend any money training), FOR CHEAP.
      Companies want a single skilled, educated, domestic workers … to do the job of 3 – 4 skilled, educated, domestic workers.
      Companies actually, have someone already in mind, but advertise the position with exaggerated requirements … so they can then say “nobody outside fits our requirements, so we shall just take an internal candidate”.

      BONUS: If you want to recognise whether you are working in a crappy company, 3 things come to mind:
      The company officers, never communicate by e-mail – only face to face and with “orders being interpreted and passed on to the workers”. This shields HR and management from being caught through a paper trail, when they either try to blame staff (for doing something wrong), or find fault.
      Always measured subjectively, there are no numbers, ranking, or testing metrics. This allows firing for spurious reasons.
      Old, obsolete and worn equipment … to work with the latest technologies. Then the excuse “you are not working fast enough” or “we have no money” is trotted out, to get rid of staff that wonder about the lack of accountability or instructions in writing or illegal (spoken) directives.


      • Most IT students who i know who choose to stay in New Zealand are reduced to working in retail or minimal jobs, this is not a joke at all

  5. Never a truer word spoken. NZ will strip you of all your assets and then your dignity. It is a penal colony of drunken druggies who hate anyone who ain’t kiwi mate…
    I came here as a skilled migrant with permanent residence for myself and my family.
    Worst thing I have ever done in my life. Cisco certified with years of experience, I never managed to get a relevant job in 15 years, and now I have de-skilled myself my experience is so out of date.

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