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Minister for Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway confirmed today a cap increase of the RSE framework which enables the horticulture and viticulture industries to recruit workers from overseas for seasonal work.
The cap will rise by 3150 over two years to 16,000.
During the first year it will increase by 1550 to 14,400 for 2019/2020 period and by a further 1600 places in 2020/2021.
Mr Lees-Galloway said he hoped the announcement would provide more certainty for growers in the region.
“We are helping our regions’ growers to plan ahead and get the support they need.
This will help address industry concerns that a lack of certainty on RSE numbers makes it hard for them to plan for labour needs and accommodation requirements."
The horticulture and viticulture industries had previously called upon the government support amid labour shortages.
Mr Lees-Galloway said the move was conditional on the horticulture and viticulture sectors proving the sector was "easier and more attractive for Kiwi workers to work in".
"They’ll also have to up their game and make sure there is more accommodation built for their workers”.
“New Zealand is dealing with a housing crisis left to us by the previous government. So, this year restrictions will be placed on the further use of residential rental housing by RSE employers to accommodate RSE workers,” he said.