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Pacific Permits Will Boost Local Industry

Media Release

25 October 2006

Pacific Permits Will Boost Local Industry

New Zealand First Economic Development spokesperson Doug Woolerton has welcomed the Government's announcement that it will provide temporary work visas to Pacific workers to fill horticulture and viticulture jobs when no New Zealanders are available.

Mr Woolerton says the new Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme will help address the serious cyclical labour shortages in the horticulture and viticulture industries and will mean that these sectors are not compromised by an inability to hire workers over crucial production periods.

"The Government's commitment to developing a seasonal labour strategy is a major step forward for horticulture and viticulture because it signals that they are taking the labour shortage problem seriously," said Mr Woolerton.

"Both industries have made it very clear that greater labour mobility is required to end the struggle to employ enough workers during harvest. With increasing demand due to additional plantings of horticulture crops and greater competition for a diminishing labour pool, many sectors of the industry are failing to meet their production marks.

"This new scheme will be important in enabling the horticulture and viticulture industries to meet their growth targets and I would expect major sectors to have key roles in this area to ensure it meets employer needs and is practical and workable.

“This is a policy that has great potential for a 'win-win' outcome by helping New Zealand employers while at the same time enhancing the special New Zealand association and interest in the South Pacific region,” said Mr Woolerton.


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