15 Sep 2020

Horticulturalists warn crop harvest may not happen without workers

From Morning Report, 6:12 am on 15 September 2020

Horticulturalists say they won't be able to harvest crops, unless they can find about 60,000 people to fill jobs normally done by international workers.

Covid-19 restrictions means those workers can't come in easily.

In the Hawke's Bay, where growers say about 70-percent of apples are picked by foreigners, some fear their businesses will fall apart as a result.

In Hastings yesterday, Labour's finance spokesperson, Grant Robertson, touted the kiwifruit industry's solution - it used anyone from airline pilots to office workers to plug gaps.

While Yummy Fruit's general manager Paul Paynter appreciated Robertson's visit and willingness to do something

He told RNZ Hawke's Bay reporter Tom Kitchin he isn't sure if the government has the right solution.