Cap on seasonal employees lifted

8:42 pm on 8 February 2018

Six hundred more immigrant workers will be allowed into New Zealand every year under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.

Janet and Roselyn at RJ Flowers Orchard in Hawkes Bay

RSE workers at an orchard in Hawkes Bay Photo: RNZ Lynda Chanwai-Earle

Under the scheme, Pacific Islanders are given short-term visas to work in New Zealand's horticulture and viticulture industries.

The cap increased last year to 10,500 and the government has decided it will increase to 11,100 this year.

The scheme was set up in 2007 and was initially capped at 5000 people.

Workplace relations and immigration minister Iain Lees-Galloway said the change meant the sector could meet the pressures of a predicted early and prosperous harvest.

Last week, he introduced the Employment Relations Amendment Bill to Parliament, to improve employment practices among employers and contractors.

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