Cyclone Gabrielle: National's Erica Stanford calls for work visas to be processed with 'no bureaucratic tape' to help with rebuild

Erica Stanford has called for Labour to cut "bureaucratic tape" and get desperately-needed workers into New Zealand to assist with the rebuild from Cyclone Gabrielle.

Cyclone Gabrielle has cut off entire towns and washed away farms, bridges, livestock, and inundated homes and businesses.

"We're going to have to pull on all of the resources available - both domestic and migrant workforce - and we will need to work very hard at that," Immigration Minister Michael Wood acknowledged on Friday.

"This is a monumental task ahead of us so I've asked officials for further advice about what we will need to do to make sure that we have the people for this incredibly huge rebuild that's so important for the communities," he told AM, adding more workers would be brought in "if that's what's needed".

National Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford, appearing alongside Wood, said what the Government need to do was introduce a work visa process with "no bureaucratic tape".

"We've spent the last year trying to get workers in the country and it's taken months and months and months - it takes the thick end of 5-6 months to get workers in the country at the moment when you add in all the component parts."

She said more needed to be done.

"I would argue that actually before this tragedy hit, we already needed tens of thousands of workers.

"We need a visa process - a work visa process - that is streamlined, that cuts all the bureaucratic tape and the cost out."

Wood assured the Government would pull "every lever that we possibly can" to help with the rebuild.

He said the Government had the ability to create a special visa category if required.

"There's a bit of work that you have to do in these situations to make sure that you're really clear and understand the roles that you actually need.

"People can rest assured we will use every tool and pull every lever to support the rebuild."