New Zealand Immigration Update: May 2019

On 27 May 2019, Immigration New Zealand updated the Long Term Skill Shortage (LTSSL) and Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage (CISSL) Lists. New Regional Skill Shortage Lists (RSSLs) were also introduced to replace the current Immediate Skill Shortage List.

Key Updates

Long Term Skill Shortage List

  • Aged Care Registered Nurses added.
  • No occupations have been removed.

Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List

  • Building Associates and Plumbers for all regions added.
  • Removing Stonemason for Canterbury, but retaining it for Northland and Auckland.

Regional Skill Shortage List

  • Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary School Teachers added.

Regional Skill Shortage Lists

The Regional Skill Shortage List will tailor labour market shortages to the following 15 regions in New Zealand.

  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Canterbury
  • Nelson Tasman
  • Marlborough
  • West Coast
  • Otago
  • Southland
  • Wellington
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Waikato
  • GIsborne
  • Taranaki
  • Whanganui Manawatu
  • Hawkes Bay

This new 15 region model will also be applied to the CISSL.


The Immigration labour market test requirements do not apply to occupations listed on one of the Immigration New Zealand skill shortage lists. This results in faster, more streamlined processing for individuals working in skill shortage list occupations and their supporting employers.

Regularly updating skill shortage lists ensures that immigration policies are adaptable to changing labour market conditions. This introduction of RSSLs should also respond more effectively to labour market conditions, acknowledging that skill shortages do vary by region. It is expected that these changes will encourage migrants to work and live in places other than New Zealand's main centres, particularly Auckland, where there is a current strain on infrastructure.

Relevant dates

These changes were introduced, on 27 May 2019.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.