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​​Immigration and the future of the tech sector

NZ needs more tech-minded people, not less. What immigration policy settings best facilitate this?

Please join NZTech and the Productivity Commission for an in-depth look at New Zealand immigration policy vis-à-vis the growing demand for tech specialists.

Migrant labour plays a significant role in the tech sector. As countries plan their economic recovery from COVID-19, many are recalibrating their immigration policies to ensure they can get the people and skills they need. In effect, New Zealand competes against these countries to secure the knowledge it needs to support transformational goals. The Productivity Commission has been tasked by the government to review policies with an eye toward these goals.

What effect has access to migrant labour had on training, job conditions and technology adoption by firms? What more can immigration policy do to attract specialist ‘high-impact’ people? How can New Zealand best leverage diaspora to enhance productivity growth? We talk to those at the forefront of these pressing issues. 

Dates are subject to Government announcements

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Covid Update:

We are committed to running safe events, aligned with Government Alert Level 2 protocols.  To ensure you and fellow guests remain safe, please follow these steps:

  • On arrival
    • please wear a mask
    • scan in with the NZ COVID-19 Tracer app
    • register with our events team using the QR code on your ticket
    • Collect your name tag, directly from the printer
  • During the event
    • Please remain one metre apart from others
    • Seating will be one metre apart from others
    • Following the presentation, you are welcome to go to the bar for a non-alcoholic beverage, however you must return to your seat.

Thank you for your understanding and support to keep everyone safe at our events.


Nicholas Green - Inquiry Director - Productivity Commission
Nicholas has previously worked on inquiries into technological change and the future of work, regulatory institutions and practices, using land for housing and on a joint research project with the Australian Productivity Commission on growing the digital economy in Australia and New Zealand. In previous incarnations, Nik has worked for a range of government and non-government organisations, including the Treasury and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Anthony Watson - General Manager Technology - Air New Zealand
Technology has been at the centre of my career for over 20 years. I am passionate about working with organisations to maximise ROI from technology investment, utilise it as a catalyst for innovation and organisational transformation for the benefit of both employees and customers alike. I am currently GM Technology for Air New Zealand , leading a highly skilled and dedicated team of technology professionals who develop and maintain the technology infrastructure services and solutions that support the airline globally. My career to date has been focused on the Asia Pacific Region , often leading a geographically dispersed multi-country teams. I have had the opportunity to work in technology leadership roles across the High Technology, Biotechnology, Banking & Finance and now Air Transport/Aviation sectors, all focused on this dynamic region.
Damian Sainsbury - Managing Director - HainesAttract
I am Managing Director of HainesAttract, a talent attraction company. Combining creativity, marketing, media and recruitment expertise, we help organisations find and attract the best talent. We have established a strong pedigree in attracting highly skilled migrants to New Zealand through many client campaigns, platforms such as Workhere and our award-winning LookSee programme.


Nov 04
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free – $25
Event Type
Is this event run by the Tech Alliance?
Event Category:


The Productivity Commission
Level 15 Fujitsu Tower, 141 The Terrace (or if coming from Lambton Quay, access is via the lifts at the top of Cable Car lane).
Wellington, New Zealand