New figures show the overall number of new skilled migrants has halved in the past year, and politics is to blame.
It's making it harder for businesses who need migrants to fill jobs, with restaurants having to close and construction and decorating businesses struggling to find workers
June Ranson, Chair of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment, says the drop in numbers has a political cause.
"If started really from a political point of view, and it was part of the campaigns for the elections to reduce migrants, because the public was saying there are too many here."
Ranson told Andrew Dickens this has caused businesses to close due to a lack of new workers.
She says that there is less incentive for lower skilled workers to come here.
"The policy has been tightened quite significantly and it is making it difficult."
Ranson says that the shortages covers almost all industries, including construction, horticulture and hospitality.
Many employers are trying to use Work and Income to fill the vacancies, but Ranson says that they are finding New Zealanders to be disappointing employees.
"They are found to have drugs, lose their driving licenses, or are totally unreliable."
While there have not been any major policy changes yet, except for student visas, Ranson says that the implication has had an effect.
LISTEN TO JUNE RANSON TALK WITH ANDREW DICKENS ABOVE