11 Apr 2012

Probe of migrant labour may help dairy workers

6:47 am on 11 April 2012

An investigation of migrant labour issues on Southland farms may help to inform other regions with migrant workforces, researchers at Lincoln University say.

Their study begins this week and aims to improve social, cultural and working relationships between migrant farm workers and their employers.

"I'm looking to set in place a good research foundation for improving the migration processes for a dairy worker-type seasonal employment scheme," said Dr Rupert Tipple.

He hopes to release an interim report on the Southland study in May, and says the findings could be used to develop a national policy, similar to one used in the horticultural industry.

In that sector, the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme governs the hiring of Pacific Island workers at busy times on orchards and vineyards, such as at harvest.

Dr Tipples says that scheme also began on a regional level.