Visa exemptions a huge relief for wine industry

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 23 Sep 2020, 1:05PM
Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Visa exemptions a huge relief for wine industry

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 23 Sep 2020, 1:05PM

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced a reprieve for 11,000 foreigners with expiring working holiday visas, who will be able to stay and work in horticulture and wine growing jobs.

A Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) visa will be automatically given to those with working holiday visas that expire between November 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

And Faafoi has announced that the border will be opened for hundreds to specialist workers including veterinarians, deep-sea fishing crew, and agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operators.

It's good news for Wine Marlborough, which employs 30 percent of its staff locally, and 70 percent from overseas.

General manager Marcus Pickens told Mike Hosking they're looking to hire more Kiwis, but locally trained experts are few and far between.

"70 percent from overseas have special skills, work in wineries around the world, bring knowledge and experience, and do the job safely."

Mr Pickens says they'll realistically have to flip those numbers, but they still need a core of experienced leaders to show the new recruits how to make wine.

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