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NZ builders snubbed in Aust job ad

NZ First is outraged an Australian company is looking to import foreign construction workers to New Zealand with the promise of high pay and free food and accommodation, in what looks like a snub to Kiwi builders.

Australian HR company TR7 has listed an advertisement on job website Seek, looking for expressions of interest from 80 Australian construction carpenters to work on a major project in Auckland, starting early this year.

The ad is also listed on Seek's New Zealand website, but again refers specifically to "top-grade mature tradespeople Australia-wide".

The workers will be paid between $55 and $59.99 an hour, along with free food and accommodation.

NZ First leader Winston Peters says the ad indicates a New Zealand construction project has been secured by an Australian company, and that's "scandalous".

"Either the government or a New Zealand organisation is paying top rates for Australians to work here, shutting out any hope of skilled New Zealanders picking up these jobs," he said.

Mr Peters says New Zealanders should have the first priority to jobs, but the government "cares more about foreign companies making money on our shores than in ensuring New Zealanders have jobs".