Are these working holiday types stealing jobs from our own youth and lower skilled labour?
Those granted temporary working visas are predominantly young, very motivated on their Overseas Experience and happy to take any work as fillers to finance their stay. Kiwis love doing the same abroad so these are grounds for reciprocal bilateral arrangements.
The boom in skilled, intelligent and energetic temporary workers willing to work for low wages is sensitive because they compete with low skilled (often young) Kiwis for work and of course being higher quality in general, the foreigners succeed. That pleases employers and customers so to that extent is an economic benefit. The evidence that local workers are being displaced is patchy, there’s a counter argument that the hospitality sector especially has expanded as a result of the visitor working visa phenomenon. But even if the evidence is there, our response needs to be more training of our displaced, low skill workers so they can compete fully with this competition.