Ashburton employers are excited at the prospect of new visas to help fill major shortages.
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway spoke in the mid-Canterbury town today about a proposed temporary work visa system to cater to the unique labour demands of each region.
Ashburton suffers from the biggest worker shortage in the country, with more than 500 jobs available.
Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury dairy chair Chris Ford says the new visas would be great for employers and workers.
"It will provide more security for migrants who are looking to come and work in the area."
The national unemployment rate is 4.5 per cent but in Ashburton it is 1.9 per cent.