Paula Bennett, Michael Woodhouse
22 July, 2014
Boost for horticulture and viticulture industry
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse have announced plans for a new programme aimed at getting more Kiwis into seasonal work, alongside an increase to the annual RSE cap.
Mr Woodhouse says the need to raise the cap on Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from 8000 to 9000 demonstrates the success of the RSE 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,” says Mr Woodhouse.
“It has provided employers with a stable and reliable workforce and given them confidence to expand and invest in their business. RSE workers have also benefitted significantly from gaining invaluable work experience and being able to send money back to their communities at home.’’
Mrs Bennett says as the viticulture and horticulture sectors grow, the Government is committed to ensuring that New Zealanders remain at the front of the job queue.
“That’s why, alongside the increase in the RSE cap, Cabinet has agreed to introduce a New Zealand Seasonal Worker Programme to provide more pastoral care and other support to assist Kiwis into work.
“While planning is in the early stages, the Programme will be developed in close consultation with industry and growers and I have been encouraged by their positive response and commitment to the proposal.’’
The horticulture and viticulture industry is forecasting employment growth of over 3000 jobs in the next financial year.
“The Government will continue to work with growers to ensure more Kiwis have access to seasonal work opportunities, while continuing its support for the RSE scheme,’’ says Mrs Bennett.