New Zealand extends Pacific seasonal labour scheme

The New Zealand Government has announced plans to increase in the number of seasonal workers under its Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.

RNZ reports the RSE scheme will now increase by 1,000 workers to 10,500 for the coming horticulture and viticulture season.

The Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the sector was forecasting an additional 2,500 workers would be needed for the upcoming season.

The RSE scheme allows people from Pacific Island countries to work in New Zealand for periods of about six months at a time.

Currently Vanuatu is the single biggest source of workers with about 4,000 in the country this season, but there are also large numbers from Tonga and Samoa, with some also from Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Fiji.

Photo: RNZ/Johnny Blades