A new programme aiming to get more Kiwis into seasonal work
and an increase to the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) cap
has been welcomed by Horticulture New Zealand.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and Immigration
Minister Michael Woodhouse announced the changes last week..
Under the RSE scheme, Pacific Islanders are permitted to
enter this country as seasonal employees to fill horticulture
and viticulture jobs. When the scheme came into effect in
2007, it had a cap of 5000 but that was increased to 8000
five years ago.
Mr Woodhouse said the need to raise the cap from 8000 to 9000
shows the success of the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.
''There's no doubt that the growth in the horticulture and
viticulture industry in the past few years would not have
been possible without RSE, which has been widely praised
locally and internationally.''
The horticulture and viticulture industry was forecasting an
employment growth of more than 3000 jobs in the next
Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Peter Silcock
welcomed the change and said they had been asked to be
directly involved in the development of the programmes aimed
at getting more Kiwis into seasonal work.
Rural Contractors New Zealand believed that the boost to
seasonal workers was essential to delivering the horticulture
industry's forecasted future growth but had suggested a
similar scheme be put in place for the rural contracting
Rural Contractors New Zealand president Steve Levet said the
rural contracting sector needed similar provisions put in
place as there was a gap for rural contractors' needs for
trained, agricultural machinery operators and unemployed New
Zealanders who could do this work.
''The rules around employing temporary, skilled people from
overseas prepared to work for six to eight months each year
need to be simplified as do the regulations restricting
people who have previously worked here in past seasons coming
back to New Zealand to work.''