Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Pacific Seasonal Work Scheme Flawed

Pacific Seasonal Work Scheme Flawed

The Pacific Seasonal Work Scheme is badly flawed ands will have significant practical difficulties for all involved. The Rural & Associated Contractors Federation said that while it looks good on paper, the scheme lacks the Government support to make it work.

RACF Executive Director Roger Parton said that the Federation welcomed any improvement in the manner in which contractors can address seasonal labour shortages but that this scheme, announced to coincide with the Prime Minster’s attendance at the Pacific Forum, is not the answer.

“First the Government has to address and clean up the problems with illegal labour and non-payment of the minimum wage that already exist” said Mr Parton. “It is all very well for the Minister of Immigration to assure the public that the minimum wage will apply but if they cannot enforce that now, and they are not, then what resources will be applied in the future to enforce it

The Federation is also concerned that the scheme puts the entire onus on the employer and none on the Government. “Immigration is unable to investigate and prosecute cases of illegal labour being employed now, even though sworn affidavits, evidence and location details are provided. They will wait for 42 days after a complaint is laid before anything is done and then not surprisingly, find the person has moved on. Yet if a seasonal labourer goes and works for someone else, the contractor is liable for a $3,000 fine, regardless of the actions he has taken,” said Mr Parton. “We understand that the investigations section of Immigration has had its funding reduced so they will be even less able to take action on complaints than they are now

“Quite simply, this is about politics rather than providing the industry with that it needs, that is suitable labour to meet shortages, in a scheme that is easy to administer and participate in. “he said. “This will only work if the enforcement back up is there and despite the Minister’s joint assurances, the industry has had too much experience to know that the resources to enforce this scheme will simply not be provided”

Mr Parton said that restricting the scheme to one region also posed problems as it deprived contractors of the ability to choose the best source of labour to address seasonal shortages. He urged the Government to rethink this proposal, remove the regional restrictions and convince the horticulture and viticulture industries that resources would be available to make the scheme work.

“Without a firm and proven commitment from the Government to provide sufficient resources to effectively support this scheme, it will be of little value”, said Mr Parton


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods (is the dollar up or down?) the outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country... More>>




Submissions Summary: The People's Commission On Public Media

This Summary is a preliminary report from the People’s Commission. It brings together views and aspirations of the hundreds of people who made submissions, attended public meetings, filled out the online survey and made speeches to our Panel. More>>

Housing Plans: Protest Over Ihumatao Development

Ihumatao in Mangere, next to the airport in Auckland, holds the archaeological remains of 1000 years of food production; from when Maori first landed in the area, through to early European settler agriculture and right up until today. More>>


Negotiations: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word.. More>>


Contains Highly Colloquial Language: Your F**king Guide To Government Formation

The following message is in no way endorsed by the Electoral Commission. They are f**king done with this election. More>>

NZ Emissions Up 50% 1990-2013: Report Confirms CLimate Change Impacting NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: Inland Revenue Steps Back From Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election