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Recognised Seasonal Employer Policy

DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR MEDIA RELEASE

February 14, 2008

Forum Builds Momentum For Recognised Seasonal Employer Policy

The Department of Labour has hosted a two day forum to review the first 12 months of the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) policy.

The forum titled "Getting the best out of RSE" was held in Wellington on 11 and 12 February and brought together representatives from the horticulture and viticulture industries, employers and workers, government officials and delegates from Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Representatives from the World Bank also attended.

Over the two day period discussion centred on what areas of the policy have been successful and what areas need further development to ensure ongoing success.

Kerupi Tavita, the Department of Labour's Group Manager Service International, said the forum had been particularly valuable.

"The forum provided the opportunity for all parties affected by the policy to air their views on how it's gone in the first 10 months. There were a number of issues identified but the overwhelming feeling is one of strong support for the policy and a genuine determination by all to make sure it carries on well in to the future."

"The Department of Labour will now take the information gathered at the forum and develop a way ahead for the policy, working out ways to make the process simpler and ensure it remains a win-win situation for all parties."

"We have seen significant successes from the policy, from employers who have been able to meet their seasonal labour needs for the first time in many years, to workers who have been able to earn enough money to build new houses in their home countries and improve their standard of living."

"This is a policy that has so much scope to provide significant benefits to New Zealand industry and the development of Pacific nations. Once we iron out the wrinkles this policy will be one all New Zealanders can be proud of."

The event was followed by the World Bank forum: Labour Mobility in Distant Lands which concluded on 14 February.

ENDS


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