New Zealand wine industry welcomes New Year seasonal worker border exception

Image: Misty Cove

New Zealand Winegrowers warmly welcomes the Government’s announcement today that 2000 workers under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme will be granted access into New Zealand from January to help with harvest and pruning work during 2021 in wine and horticulture.

“We are very pleased to hear the positive news today that 2000 RSE workers will be granted permission to enter New Zealand in the New Year,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

“We have been working constructively with the Government to find a solution that balances our industry’s need for skilled workers to complete time sensitive vineyard operations, against the high demand from Kiwis for places in Managed Isolation and Quarantine.

“The Government has made clear that it regards the primary sector as a key partner in achieving its objectives. For our part, we have committed to a range of forward-looking measures that will help deliver more opportunities for New Zealanders in our sector.”

“Our industry employs up to 8000 seasonal workers at its peak. Despite our efforts to recruit workers in New Zealand, the projected shortage of workers has been a real concern as we edge closer to next year’s harvest and plan for the critical winter pruning.

“The announcement today will help the New Zealand wine industry have access to the supply of labour we need, at the time we need it, and ensure we can continue to make our world-renowned premium quality wine.”

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