New Zealand Winegrowers welcomes the increase in the number of seasonal workers under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme announced by Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.
An increase in 1,550 RSE workers for the 2019-20 season will help support the wine industry during vintage and pruning, when there was a huge demand for labour says Philip Gregan, CEO at New Zealand Winegrowers.
“The wine industry’s primary focus is on placing Kiwis into work, although there is often a shortage,” he says. “Increased access to labour through the RSE scheme has supported the wine industry, and contributed to export growth. This announcement is positive news one day after we celebrated 200 years since the first grape vine was planted in New Zealand.”
“The fact that a further increase of 1,600 has also been indicated for the following year gives us increased certainty, and allows us to plan into the future,” says Greegan. “We also recognise that the RSE scheme comes with responsibilities towards the RSE workers and we take these very seriously.”
New Zealand wine exports are valued at $1.83 billion for the year to the end of June 2019.