Former Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says labour shortages and an avalanche of government-sponsored regulations are crippling the sector.
Obviously, the horticulture industry, like dairying, is hard-hit by labour shortages, so if Chapman believed a higher minimum wage would help address the shortage he’d be in favour.
However, Chapman says the Government line that lifting the base wage is going to create a high wage economy is faulty thinking.
“It’s pure economic fallacy that driving up wages will magically transform NZ; that it will get rid of low paid and what they see as ‘unskilled jobs’, so creating a highly paid work force that does not have to do what [the Government] considers to be unskilled work”.
The theory goes that higher wages leads to increased labour productivity therefore the employer recoups the higher wage cost.