New Zealand to increase number of Temporary Visas Granted Foreign Seasonal Workers.

If you have interest or skills for horticulture then this may be of interest :

The New Zealand Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has said that the cap on the number of temporary visas that can be granted to employ foreign seasonal workers is set to rise by 3150 over two years to 16,000.

Strawberry grower Francie Perry said they had needed a decision in July to give officials the time to allocate the extra numbers, and today's announcement was too little, too late.

"If we don't get some help from Immigration New Zealand then again we'll miss the boat for our own harvest and again we'll have fruit rotting in the fields,'' she said.

Ms Perry has told RNZ her farm might have to leave crops to rot in the ground if they can't get enough pickers.

Horticulture New Zealand said the government was moving in the right direction but more RSE workers were still needed to support horticulture's big growth.

"For strawberries and asparagus it's not good because they can't access workers for their harvest, which is now,'' Hort NZ chief executive Mike Chapman said.

"There's a lead time, you've got to be able to process visas, you've got to be able to identify who is available to work and get them out to New Zealand. So it doesn't help them at all."

Mr Chapman said a better announcement would have been at least another 500 visas being granted immediately.




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