Agriculture Minister urges incentives to fix fruit picking shortage

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 23 Feb 2021, 2:13PM
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

Agriculture Minister urges incentives to fix fruit picking shortage

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 23 Feb 2021, 2:13PM

The Horticulture sector's still bleeding money without enough workers to fill jobs.

Apple growers in Hawkes Bay are reportedly struggling to pick more than 40 per cent of their crop.

A marketing consultant for growers reveals the sectors missing 80 per cent of their seasonal workers.

Only 2000 RSE scheme workers have been let into the country for the summer months.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor told Mike Hosking that the sector is short, but there are people in New Zealand who could shift across to a seasonal job.

He accepts that there is a shortage, but some orchardists have no trouble finding workers and others do. 

"Some employers will have plenty of workers, and some won't. I guess there's a whole lot of paying conditions, access to accommodation, many things that incentivise people to come and work, do a seasonal job, make sure they get a decent pay for what they do." 

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