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

 

Final Frontier: Rocket Lab And NASA Sign Commercial Space Launch Agreement

Rocket Lab has signed a Commercial Space Launch Act Agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The agreement enables Rocket Lab to use NASA resources - including personnel, facilities and equipment - for launch and reentry efforts. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Wheeler Downplays Scope For ‘Large’ Rates Fall

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler says some market commentators are predicting further declines in interest rates that would only make sense for an economy in recession, although some easing is likely to be needed to maintain New Zealand’s economic growth. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha Dam: Consent Conditions Could Mean Reduced Intensity

Legal advice sought by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on the Ruataniwha Dam consent conditions has confirmed that farmers who sign up to take water from the dam could be required to reduce the intensity of their farming operation to meet the catchment’s strict nitrogen limit. More>>

Health And Safety: Bill Now Sees Rules Relaxed For Small Businesses

Health and safety law reform sparked by the Pike River coalmine disaster has been reported back from the industrial relations select committee with weakened requirements on small businesses to appoint health and safety representatives and committees. More>>

ALSO:

Bearing Fruit: Annual Fruit Exports Hit $2 Billion For First Time

The value of fruit exported rose 20 percent (up $330 million) for the June 2015 year when compared with the year ended June 2014. Both higher prices and a greater quantity of exports (up 9.0 percent) contributed to the overall rise. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news