A Southland dairy industry leader says the Government's response to worker shortages in the dairy industry is a "cop out".
While farmers welcome the Government's decision to issue border class exemptions for another 200 dairy workers, the increase in pay levels is causing anger.
Farmers employing these extra workers must pay them $92,000 per annum or 1.75 times the current median wage for an assistant dairy farm manager.
Those employed as herd manager must be paid $79,500/year, which is 1.5 times the current median wage for dairy herd manager roles.
Federated Farmers Southland sharemilker chair Jason Herrick told Rural News that increases in pay levels is his biggest issue.
"Setting those levels for junior staff and senior staff creates a whole new set of problems with current staff," Herrick says. "Now they will feel hard done by, so to make things smooth sailing we now have to increase the wages of our current staff to be seen to be dealing with pay equality."