20 Nov 2012

Iwi eyes Maori quota for seasonal jobs

7:16 am on 20 November 2012

Hawke's Bay iwi Ngati Kahungunu wants its people to get a guaranteed slice of the region's seasonal job market.

The tribe is talking to the horticulture and viticulture sector about how tangata whenua can get the work.

Vineyards and orchards are present hire in a lot of labour from the Pacific islands under the Government's Recognised Seasonal Employer Policy.

The chair of Ngati Kahungunu, Ngahiwi Tomoana, says his tribal members need jobs too.

He says at the moment, growers prefer the Pacific workers because they come in as a group, stay on site, work until it rains - and start again when it stops raining.

Mr Tomoana says it is a convenient labour force that is to the detriment of Maori.

He says while he would like there to be a quota for Maori seasonal jobs, he doesn't want Pacific workers to suffer.