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 Epic Fails Of Kris Faafoi

Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither been kind nor just, especially to the migrants whose skills New Zealand will need to get us through Covid, and grow the economy into the future... More>>

Covid-19 & Government: Government Green Lights Rapid Antigen Testing

Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall... More>>



Government: Opportunity To Shape NZ’s First Emissions Reduction Plan
The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>


Government: Books Show Resilient And Strong Economy
The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast... More>>

Healthcare: Health System Is Ready For Assisted-dying Law
The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>

Children's Commissioner: Call For Mandatory Vaccination Of Children’s Workforce
The Children’s Commissioner and Assistant Māori Commissioner are calling for a plan for the mandatory vaccination of teachers and the entire children’s workforce in New Zealand... More>>




InfoPages News Channels