ALMOST 300 Irish people have been granted New Zealand visas as the country's building industry continues to surge.
Some 270 visas were granted to Irish emigrants by New Zealand officials since June 2013, with a total of over 1,800 since 2008.
Now hundreds more are to be drawn away to the Pacific island with the promise of long-term, full-time work in the country's growing construction industry.
Companies are seeking hundreds more engineers, construction managers, builders and quantity surveyors, most of whom will take up work in the Christchurch area, which has been rocked by earthquakes in recent years.
The estimated value of the construction industry in New Zealand is expected to hit €19.5bn by 2016, with around 100 new buildings planned for Christchurch's central business district in the coming year.
To respond to the demand, the Opportunities Overseas Expo will return to Dublin next Wednesday where companies from a variety of sectors will also seek out Irish professionals.
Chief executive of expo organiser Working In, Scott Mathieson, said: "Due to Auckland residential and Christchurch rebuild needs, New Zealand will experience many years of growth in the construction sector."
The expo takes place in the Clyde Court Hotel from 2pm to 7pm and will include employers from Canada and Australia.