Chef crisis strikes Christchurch

Chef crisis strikes Christchurch
Published:  24 Jan at 12 PM
Earthquake stricken Canterbury continues to cry out for chefs as the city's restaurants and cafes are reopening, which is great news for British migrants to New Zealand.

An Australia Magazine report told how Christchurch is facing severe shortages of chefs, which has prompted Hospitality New Zealand to push the Government into adding chefs to the growing Canterbury Skills Shortage list.

Currently, Canterbury has 70 hospitality businesses set to re-open after earthquake repairs. Amy McLellan-Minity, a regional manager, said that restaurants re-opening are desperate for high quality staff, but many chefs are forced to leave Christchurch after last February's earthquake as they must pursue jobs overseas or in New Zealand cities.

For some restaurant owners, things have become so bad that they have had to search foreign markets for new staff. A local restaurant owner, Mr Murray Hickman, told of how he couldn't find a single qualified chef de partie – so he was made to recruit one that was based 14,000 kms away.

Mr Hickman, the owner of the Monteiths Bar and Restaurant, explained that business has thankfully been booming ever since the earthquake yet the usual methods of hunting staff have now become redundant as a lot of potential employees are now out of town and any that decided to stay are already snapped up by his rivals.

The rebuild effort pushed Immigration New Zealand to start developing the Canterbury Skills Shortage List, which makes it easier for skilled rebuild workers, most of which make their money in the construction industry, to successfully immigrate to Canterbury.