9 May 2018

Kiwifruit picking not low-pay - Kiwi Growers boss

From Morning Report, 7:45 am on 9 May 2018

The kiwifruit industry is trying to devise ways of enticing more local unemployed people into fruitpicking, as Bay of Plenty faces a worker shortage. Following a bumper kiwifruit season, and a decrease in the numbers of international students, opportunity knocks for anyone keen for some temporary but intensive work. The Ministry of Social Development says it's put 1000 people into job vacancies but it needs 1,200 more people to pack an extra 20 million trays of kiwi fruit. On Tuesday Minister of Employment Willie Jackson told us that getting locals into those jobs is complicated. Nikki Johnson is the chief executive of New Zealand Kiwi Growers Inc. She says it's not necessarily low-pay - with an average of $21 an hour, but a hurdle the industry faces is perception.