Last updated 18:46, July 27 2015
New immigration policy changes will benefit Wellington, say business leaders in the city.
The Government announced on Sunday it was putting extra incentives in in place for migrants to settle outside Auckland.
Prime Minister John Key said about half the 10,000 annual intake of skilled migrants currently settled in Auckland.
Those who get a job offer outside Auckland get 10 bonus points towards their residence application, but from November that will triple to 30 points towards the 100 they require.
In return they would have to commit to stay in the region for a year, up from three months now.
Other measures would see a doubling from 20 to 40 points for entrepreneurs, out of the 120 points they require, and the labour market test would be streamlined.
Peter Biggs, chairman of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency said there were plenty of jobs for skilled workers in the city and employers would capitalise on the opportunity top attract them.
The agency had been asking for changes to even out the distribution of migrants across the country for quite some time, he said.
As New Zealand's second city for doing business, Wellington was particularly well placed to benefit from the incentives, particularly the technology and high value manufacturing companies.
As the high-tech capital, Wellington had a number of innovative businesses looking for talented people.
In March a digital campaign entitled Wellington Works was launched in Australia to help attract a workforce needed to support the booming ICT and creative sectors in the capital, where there is growing demand and competition for developers, analysts, strategists and designers.
It was also positive to see government placing more emphasis on entrepreneurial talent rather than purely wealth or qualifications, Biggs said.
Migrants would benefit from reasonable house prices, excellent commuting options and fantastic lifestyle, he said.
"Migrants, for a variety of reasons, are often unaware of opportunities south of the Bombay Hills. We think providing migrants with a little nudge to other parts of the country will benefit the migrants themselves and the regions they go to. At the same time it will relieve Auckland of some of its growth pains. New Zealand as a whole will benefit."
Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Milford said the policy would be great news for the city.
"Members are constantly telling us about a skills shortage and how it was a challenge to find the right people. Anything that can assist them is good news."
The lifestyle in Wellington was good, so if skilled worked came to the city, he was confident they would stay.
Councillor Jo Coughlan, chairwoman of the economic growth and arts committee, said business and civic leaders would be proactive in attracting anyone looking to shift to the city to work or run their business.
"Let's put Wellington on the map," she said.
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