14 Dec 2010

Call for NZ's Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme to be extended

9:47 pm on 14 December 2010

A New Zealand parliamentary committee is calling for the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme to be extended.

RSE has operated for several years, and is now bringing in around seven thousand Pacific Islanders annually to work on short term visas in New Zealand's orchards and vineyards.

The foreign affairs, defence and trade committee has completed a report into New Zealand's relationship with the Pacific and called for a number changes, including a broadening of the scope of the RSE.

The chair, government MP John Hayes, says the scheme has been a major success.

"The committee could see that the ability of people to find work here, to accumulate some capital and to go home, very often utilising that capital collectively, was allowing Pacific people to improve their lot. When you talked to the people that employed them everybody was very happy with the quality of the work that was being done."