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Call to match South Aucklanders with Horticulture jobs

September 13, 2012

Call to match South Aucklanders with Horticulture jobs

The Chair of Otara-Papatoetoe Local board of Auckland Council, John McCracken, has called for a united effort to find work for South Auckland people within the horticultural sector.

"I keep reading and hearing about problems with immigrant labour which seems to be receiving priority over New Zealanders in our communities willing to work and struggling to find any," said Mr McCracken.

"There seems to be a good number of seasonal jobs available in the Bay Of Plenty, East Coast and Waikato, which are no more than a half day's bus drive away.

"With a little organising, those horticulture interests could be matched with solid, hard working people who have families to support in South Auckland," he said.

Mr McCracken said there are over 80,000 people living in his Local Board area and more than 270,000 in the neighbouring areas of Mangere-Otahuhu, Manurewa and Papakura.

"I can envisage a stage where we can find dozens of people through community networks, work brokers training facilities and Churches to travel on buses from Manukau Centre on Monday mornings, to their work places and stay in the accommodation otherwise dedicated to immigrant workers, and returning home on Friday with a full week's pay," he said

"If we can get together with Horticulture interests, Government agencies and our local networks, we must surely be able to get a positive and year-round routine under way that suits the horticulture industry and our local people."

Mr McCracken said he is aware that the horticultural sector has a strategy to increase annual export revenues from almost $4 billion today to $10 billion by 2020.

"This is a great opportunity for our communities and we need to start thinking and acting now," he said.

ENDS

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