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Government decision on workers welcomed

MEDIA RELEASE

23 November 2016

Kiwifruit industry welcomes Government decision on seasonal workers

• 1000 additional seasonal workers for horticulture

• RSE workers support New Zealanders who remain primary workforce

The kiwifruit industry has welcomed the Government’s announcement of an additional 1000 seasonal workers for the coming season.

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc (NZKGI) Chief Executive Nikki Johnson says the extra workers in the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme are essential to support the kiwifruit industry’s strong growth.

“This is great news both for the industry, which has been struggling to find enough workers to keep pace with growing volumes and the people from the Pacific who can support their communities through working in New Zealand. The 10,500 people now secured to work across the horticulture industry over our busiest harvest period next year complement our Kiwi workforce. The kiwifruit industry remains committed to employing New Zealanders as our primary workforce and RSE workers compliment this in periods of labour shortage” says Ms Johnson.

“The industry is aiming to more than double sales to $4.5 billion by 2025 and we can only do this with enough skilled people,” says Ms Johnson.

The kiwifruit industry employs around 18,000 people across the season and generated nearly $2 billion in sales last season.

ENDS

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