Saturday, 16 April 2016 17:25

Deputy PM is right – Rural Contractors

Written by 
Rural Contractors NZ (RCNZ) president Steve Levet. Rural Contractors NZ (RCNZ) president Steve Levet.

Comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English in relation to the suitability and work ethic of some young New Zealanders is, unfortunately, correct.

This is the message from Rural Contractors NZ (RCNZ) president Steve Levet.

Levet was commenting on English's recent remarks to a Federated Farmers meeting, saying there's a proportion of the work force that won't work and are "pretty damn hopeless".

"Bill English is right when he says that some younger New Zealanders, when offered the chance for work, won't take it, can't pass drug tests, or don't have an appropriate drivers licence," Levet says.

"Ask any rural contractor about some of the experiences they have had in trying to get people to fill vacancies in our sector over the years, and you will hear the same kind of comments that Mr English has.

"Every year, in many parts of the country, it's often impossible for rural contractors to find skilled New Zealanders who want to carry out this seasonal work," he explains. "That's why it is necessary for us to look overseas to find experienced people to fill this need."

Levet says Rural Contractors NZ has worked alongside the Ministry of Social Development in developing opportunities to employ young New Zealanders, but many of the applicants MSD tries to fill these vacancies with; either do not have the right skill-set and/or attitude to be successful.

"RCNZ will continue to work closely with the Government, political parties and officials to ensure that locals have the best opportunity for employment in our industry," he adds.

"But the reality is that the agricultural contacting sector – like many others – relies on overseas workers to fill a gap that is not met by locals – some of whom are unwilling to take on these vacancies."

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

No luck for Irish contractors

Ireland, often a source of skilled farm machinery operators for rural contractors in New Zealand, is facing even worse driver shortages than NZ.

Turning back the clock

Landcorp became a state-owned enterprise in 1987 as part of the fourth Labour Government’s massive economic transformation.

Twice-launched hub gets going

Southland's new research and demonstration dairy farm, the Southern Dairy Hub, is decidedly up and running – twice!

Doing well for a small outfit

Prime Minister Bill English recently spoke at the NZ Institute of International Affairs annual dinner and touched on trade. Here are excerpts from his speech.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

Soil moisture: no more looking over the fence

Farm manager Bryan Mitchell describes as brilliant the SCADAfarm systems that allow him to remotely monitor and manage the irrigation of his 300ha of leased grazing land near Kirwee.

 

Separation gives constant result

Effluent separation offers a number of unique advantages, and opportunities that other systems don’t offer, says farm equipment manufacturer Rakaia Engineering Ltd (REL) Group.

Making good use of green water

Reporoa farmer Alistair Neville is using the Tow and Fert range for more environmentally-friendly farming practices. 

Cultivating the right way

Cultivation of paddocks is common on farms at this time of year. It’s also a time when local storms may occur, adding substantial risk to an important farming practice.

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Job hunting?

A mate of the Hound reckons outgoing special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen, who is due to finish his current…

Hot air?

With the Government wanting to implement huge costs on the livestock farming sector by making New Zealand the only country…

» Connect with Rural News