Great news from New Zealand, the New York Times reports. On June 8th, all of New Zealand declared no new infections from COVID-19—and no active coronavirus cases. Their lives are returning to a real “pre-pandemic normal”.
New Zealand is home to five million. (Los Angeles is home to 4 million.) Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called her approach “go hard, go early”, and they put in strong controls in late March. In fact, the New York Times reported that the lockdown was “so severe that retrieving a lost cricket ball from a neighbor’s yard was banned.” The country counted only 21 deaths.
However, to keep themselves COVID-19 free, New Zealand continues with closed borders (although there is talk of a “travel bubble” with Australia).
This is hard on a dairy industry that typically hires more than 5,500 migrant workers—approximately 15% of its total workers, according to Stuff NZ. The newspaper interviewed Daryl Thompson, director of D Thompson Contracting in Invercargill. The company typically would have 20-25 international employees. In his interview with Stuff NZ, he noted that anyone people accustomed to hiring staff from overseas will be concerned. “If we can’t get them, we’re going to have a lot of machinery sitting around and a lot of unhappy primary producers.”
At the same time, New Zealand has higher national unemployment because of COVID-19. They have put in some additional steps in their visa processing, to ensure New Zealanders are displaced if a foreign national comes in. For right now, we can’t confirm your placement as a trainee or employee in New Zealand. However, you can get started on collecting paperwork, and seeing if you qualify. See full information on going over as an intern—or as an employee.