Tuesday, 22 September 2020 13:08

New visa for 11,000 seasonal workers

Written by  Staff Reporters
The SSE visas will allow holders to work in horticulture and viticulture roles. The SSE visas will allow holders to work in horticulture and viticulture roles.

Around 11,000 people whose working visas are set to expire over the 2020/21 season have been granted a new visa.

The Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) visa will be automatically given to working holiday visa holders in New Zealand with visas expiring between 1 November 2020 and 31 March 2021.

The Government says these visas will allow them to work in horticulture and viticulture roles, where there are not enough New Zealanders available to do this work.

“This season we expect more Kiwis, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, will be available to work in these sectors, but it is likely there will be a shortfall of workers as these industries have often relied on migrants for their seasonal peaks,” said Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi.

“Therefore, people in New Zealand with expiring working holiday visas will be able to stay here to fill short-term horticulture and viticulture roles,” said Faafoi.

Employers can take on these workers when there are unfilled Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme spaces with an RSE employer, or there are unfilled roles available with an accredited SSE employer.

Employers will also be able to take on SSE workers for roles in regions specified on a list which the Ministry of Social Development is currently compiling.

Government changes will also enable other work visa holders to apply for an SSE visa if they have a job offer from one of these employers or if the job is on the Ministry of Social Development list.

In addition, all RSE scheme workers stranded in New Zealand who have been granted a more flexible limited visa to be able to work part-time and do non-RSE work will be able to ‘re-enter’ the RSE scheme and work for an RSE employer with 30 hours per week average pay guaranteed. 

Faafoi said the Government remained committed to the RSE scheme.

“We know many RSE workers are stranded in New Zealand because of COVID-19. These changes will provide certainty and options for these people, and we expect RSE workers will have priority for any seasonal work that cannot be filled by New Zealanders.

“Our borders are closely controlled in order to keep COVID-19 out. While only a small number of migrants can arrive in New Zealand, the Government is enabling the remaining migrant workforce to stay on. This will go a long way to support the labour needs of the horticulture and viticulture industries.

“RSE workers offshore will be able to return and work in New Zealand when it is safe to do so.

“The RSE scheme is part of our special relationship with the Pacific and is a win-win for us and our Pacific neighbours. It helps ensure our horticulture and viticulture industries are productive, and the scheme supports Pacific Island economies through remittances,” said Faafoi.

More like this

Open MIQ spaces for farm workers

Farmers want the Government to open available space in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) to bring in much-needed workers for the primary industries.

National

Lower dollar firms outlook

Dairy Milk flow strength is a result of welcome rainfall in the middle of March, in combination with weak production…

China dominates meat exports

The country's red meat sector exports continued to hold up during February reaching $906.7 million, analysis from the Meat Industry…

Machinery & Products

Kubota's new autumn offerings

Kubota, which is gaining traction in the agricultural sector with an ever-broadening portfolio, has announced some additions for autumn.

Save money and moisture!

With farmers and contractors looking to reduce crop establishment costs, the arrival of increasingly accurate GPS and a range of…

SIAFD wins punters' plaudits

After celebrating its 70th year last month, it looks like the South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) has hit its…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Green washing!

Your old mate is not surprised to learn that Hollywood director James Cameron's big claims to convert his Wairarapa properties…

20 pieces of silver?

A mate of the Hound reckons he's not surprised by the recent announcement the Government is 'partnering' with Lincoln-based company…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter