02 August 2007
Labour shortage in NZ's horticulture sector
The New Zealand immigration minister has revealed that the horticulture sector is undergoing a labour shortage, local radio station Radio New Zealand has reported.
According to the immigration minister the Cabinet is currently looking at a range of options to deal with the problem and ensure that the horticulture sector is not left without workers for long.
The transition to a new seasonal worker scheme, which comes into effect next month has been one of the driving factors behind the shortage, critics have argued.
The new Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme will allow growers in New Zealand to more easily recruit workers from the Pacific Islands.
Participants in the horticultural sector would like the current scheme to be extended for another two years and for the changeover to be more gradual.
But the immigration minister responded that there are other schemes in place, such as the working holiday scheme, that will help to alleviate the labour shortage in the meantime.
Further options that the Cabinet is looking into are yet to be revealed.
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