Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Rural Contractors ask for similar seasonal worker deal

Media Release

24 July 2014

Rural Contractors New Zealand is welcoming news that Government’s plans to encourage more New Zealanders into seasonal work and also its decision to increase the annual Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) cap to a total of 9000 workers.

RCNZ President, Steve Levet says this boost to seasonal workers is essential in delivering the horticulture industry’s forecasted future growth, but suggests a similar scheme is also needed in the rural contracting sector.

“There is no doubt the horticulture sector is an important and valuable part of New Zealand’s economy and the Government is right to make provisions for that sector,” he says.

“However, we need similar provisions for the rural contracting sector as there is a gap between rural contractors’ needs for trained, agricultural machinery operators and unemployed New Zealanders who can do this work.”

Mr Levet believes the rules around employing temporary, skilled people from overseas prepared to work for 6-8 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.

“Contracting is a seasonal business and one that uses sophisticated machinery that requires technical skill to operate productively,” he adds. “Part of this shortfall is met by bringing in skilled operators from overseas.”

Mr Levet says political parties of all persuasions need to understand that a dire shortage of suitable agricultural machinery operators means rural contractors rely on employing skilled people from overseas on a temporary basis each season and have done so for many years.

He adds that many of the applicants Work and Income NZ (WINZ) tries to fill these vacancies with; either do not have the right skill-set and/or attitude to be successful.

“We are talking about operating highly technical and very expensive pieces machinery. It is unrealistic, unsafe and impractical to expect unemployed people to walk off the street and successfully take up these positions.”

“The seasonal nature of rural contracting means workers with the right skills are needed for only a few months each year. Understandably, this kind of short-term employment does not often suit locals who are looking for fulltime work.”

Mr Levet says RCNZ will continue to work closely with the Government, political parties and officials too both ensure that locals have the best opportunity for employment, as well as continuing to lobby for changes to the rules around engaging overseas seasonal workers for the benefit of the rural contracting sector.

[Ends]


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Fruit & Veg Crackdown: Auckland Fruit Fly Find Under Investigation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn... MPI has placed legal controls on the movement of fruit and some vegetables outside of a defined circular area which extends 1.5km from where the fly was trapped in Grey Lynn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Westpac NZ Reaches $2.97M Swaps Settlement

Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand unit has agreed to pay $2.97 million in a settlement with the Commerce Commission over the way the bank sold interest rate swaps to farmers between 2005 and 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Going Dutch: Fonterra Kicks Off $144M Partnership With Dutch Cheese Maker

Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world’s largest dairy exporter, has commissioned a new dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen, in the north of the Netherlands, its first wholly-owned and operated ingredients plant in Europe. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Retail Sales Beat Estimates

New Zealand retail sales rose more than expected in the fourth quarter, led by vehicle-related transactions, food and beverages, adding to evidence that cheap credit and a growing jobs market are encouraging consumers to spend. More>>

ALSO:

Delivery Cuts Go Ahead: 'Government Money Grab' From NZ Post

"It's a money grab by the Government as the shareholder of New Zealand Post" says Postal Workers Union advocate Graeme Clarke about the changes announced by NZ Post. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news