I heard an interview with the CEO of the metals firm last night in the middle of the immigration furore on Radio NZ. His point was that he had employed specialist Filipinos to fill roles for which there was no local supply. This was during boom time. Local people, on the other hand, were undertaking non-specialist work. As demand for their products fell, there was less specialist work available. So he re-allocated some of the specialist (i.e. Filipino) staff to perform non-specialist tasks in their downtime, and laid off the non-specialist (i.e. local staff). So now the specialist staff are undertaking specialist work when they can, and non-specialist work at other times. Which makes complete sense. You’re not going to lay off the specialist staff or there will be nobody left to do the real work once demand increases!
I feel sorry for the guy trying to run a business while politicians look to score political capital from xenophobia. Embarrassing.