6 Jul 2017

NZ seeks industry input on Pacific seasonal work needs

7:35 am on 6 July 2017

The New Zealand government says industry input is crucial to the success of its plans to extend the Pacific seasonal labour scheme into sectors beyond horticulture.

Participation in the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, which brings in people from the Pacific Islands to work in orchards and vineyards for limited periods, has more than doubled since its introduction in 2007 with 10,500 workers taking part in the scheme this year.

Gerry Brownlee has been Defence Minister and oversaw the Canterbury rebuild.

NZ's Foreign Affairs Minister, Gerry Brownlee Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee said that due to its success, the government approved $US7.3 million for a five-year period to explore what other sectors of the economy RSE workers might contribute to.

"That is yet to be determined but we would hope very quickly," Mr Brownlee said.

"One of the things that would be necessary is for the sectors who are approached to identify exactly what their needs are, to make sure that we get some good matches."

"What's become clear over the 10 years of the programme operating, is that the skills that Pacific islanders can pick up out of this are as important as the work that we get done by them," he said.