Help centre for workers who have lost jobs

Internationals who have lost their jobs or have visa concerns will be able to get support from a temporary welfare hub in Queenstown next week.

Immigration New Zealand confirmed it has worked with Queenstown Lakes District Council to establish a base at the resort’s Frankton event centre.

An immigration spokesman said staff would be at the hub for at least three weeks from Tuesday to "help the significant population of migrant workers" who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

"Staff at the one-stop shop will be on hand to provide information to migrants wanting to remain in New Zealand and make them aware of their job prospects in a changing labour market, with an increasing number of New Zealanders looking for work."

He said those who wanted to return to their home countries were encouraged to speak to their consulate or embassy.

A council spokesman confirmed Ministry of Social Development staff would be at the hub.

“While we anticipate the majority of users will be foreign nationals initially, the support and information service will be available to anybody in need, including local Kiwis."

He said more information about the hub would become available next week.

This week, Queenstown Chamber of Commerce attempted to reach South Koreans who needed help to return home.

The chamber was aware New Avonhead Travel in Christchurch was organising an Air New Zealand charter flight to South Korea on June 8.

The UK has organised several charter flights in the past few weeks, with the last leaving Auckland on May 15.

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