24 Feb 2015

Fijian workers arrive for apple pick

12:10 pm on 24 February 2015

The first Fijian seasonal workers allowed into New Zealand since the military coup in 2006 have arrived for the start of apple picking.

They are part of a trial for full entry into the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme after Fiji's return to democratic rule.

Up to 9000 workers from Pacific Islands can be recruited each year by the horticulture and wine industries under the scheme run by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Fiji is targeting at least 1000 of those places.

Ministry deputy chief executive, Nigel Bickle, said that will depend on the success of the trial involving 30 Fijian workers in Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty and Nelson.