Kiwis pay their own way to get on oz mines

The mining boom is reaching across the Tasman as more and more Kiwis are willing to pay their own fly in fly out fares to be part of it.

It comes as West Australia, Gina Rinehart, and other miners are looking further abroad for more workers.

Earlier this year Rinehart came under fire after she announced her company would seek around 1700 foreign skilled workers for her Roy Hill iron ore mine.

Western Australian training minister Peter Collier was also put under the spotlight after he blamed the Federal Government's intervention for a failure to bring out 150 000 skilled Irish workers temporarily to the state.

Collier lead a delegation to Ireland last year to try and recruit skilled workers to meet the predicted 450 000 labour shortfall.

However Ciaran Cannon, Ireland's training and skills minister, wrote Collier in February and stated that Australia's current visa requirements were "one of the major obstacles preventing skilled Irish workers from taking up positions" in the State.

Collier stated that they had attempted to bypass these problems by using 457 sponsored visas.

However despite this the Federal Government still ignored requests from WA to relax entry conditions, Collier added.

However since then the Government has been at work to make changes to skills recognition, and a new system will be in place from 1 July.

The US was also targeted as a way to fill the current skilled worker gap.

A Skills Australia Needs expo was held in Texas to find more workers.

Now New Zealanders are getting in on the act.

Around 3000 Kiwis are reportedly ready to pay their own way to and from Perth to work their shifts, with the mining company only having to pay from Perth to the site, according to The West.

QANTAS is apparently supporting the move; with a recruit company stating that it is willing provide discount international fares for these workers.

"If you look at what people are earning in New Zealand and what people earn on the mines, the cost of an airfare is nothing," Reciprocus director Douglas Foster said.

"Workers in New Zealand are struggling, so for them they are better off coming here and paying for the flights."

Part of the attractiveness of Australia for New Zealanders and vice versa is that work visas are not required, thus overcoming one of the major issues for mining companies.

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