Quarantine-free travel for workers welcomed by horticulture
Horticulture New Zealand welcomes the Government’s decision that quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from the Pacific will commence this October.
Additional health measures will be in place to manage the risk of Covid-19, including the requirement that the workers be vaccinated.
HortNZ chief executive, Nadine Tunley, says the announcement is a relief for both the New Zealand horticulture industry as well as the Pasifika communities who have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
"Confirmation that our RSE workforce can travel is a positive step that will give growers some confidence about labour for the coming season," says Nadine. "It will go some way towards winter pruning being completed and the coming season’s harvest being picked.
"But even with the increased movement of RSE workers from the Pacific, the horticulture industry will still be short of seasonal workers. That’s why the whole industry is behind additional programmes to attract more New Zealanders to horticulture.
"Our industry is grateful to the Government for this agreement. We will continue to work closely with the Government to ensure the safety of our workers, their whanau and the wider community."
The details around today’s announcement are still being worked through, including when the flights can land.