Friday, 19 March 2021 12:16

Wellbeing support package unveiled for hort sector

Written by  Staff Reporters
Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor

The Government is offering wellbeing support to fruit growers facing tough times.

A support package, announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, will boost funding and resources to support affected growers and their staff, including workplace-based wellbeing training programme.

focusing on the importance of mental wellness are expected to kick-off in April and are also planned for the Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Tasman and Central Otago regions.

The package is a joint initiative between Government and industry. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) will contribute almost $350,000.

 “I understand it’s challenging at the moment. The pandemic has led to national workforce issues and orchardists down south have suffered crop losses caused by weather events,” says O’Connor.

New Zealand Apples and Pears chief executive Alan Pollard said it will build on work already being done to boost training and development to help growers attract, recruit and retain staff.

“Many of our members are under considerable stress and we all need to look out for each other. This comprehensive package of workshops, training and events will greatly assist with that,” Pollard says.

The support package is part of a raft of measures being funded to help address labour shortages across the sector.

O’Connor said there is a big focus on connecting people looking for work with roles that need to be filled.

“Last year, I launched Opportunity Grows Here – a campaign funded through Budget 2020, to attract 10,000 New Zealanders into food and fibre jobs over four years.

“I’m pleased that to date 3,121 people have gained employment as a result of promotional campaigns, training courses and connections provided through MPI’s regional liaison service.”

MPI has funded a free online course to provide job seekers with the credentials they need, such as health and safety and phytosanitary training, to be able to work in the horticulture sector.

“Rural Support Trusts are also there to help rural people with wellbeing support during tough times. The Trusts work alongside communities and are well placed to deliver confidential one-on-one support,” O’Connor said.

More like this

Cannon fodder?

OPINION: The recent high-profile Mycoplasma bovis announcement from the Government in Hamilton featured Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor.

Who dares wins

In a move that reminded everyone of the SAS motto, 'Who dares wins', Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor and industry leaders met at MilkTest NZ's Hamilton facility to announce a significant milestone in the efforts to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis.

Partnership to reduce ag emissions

The Government will commit $710 million over the next four years to accelerate efforts to lower agricultural emissions, expand the contribution of forestry to reduce carbon, and produce alternative ‘green’ fuels.

Get real!

OPINION: The Hound wonders why so much fuss was made about the PM’s recent overseas trip to Singapore and Japan.

National

Don't reinvent the wheel!

Horticulture NZ is one of the primary sector parties involved in the industry-wide initiative He Waka Eke Noa, to provide…

Machinery & Products

JD establishes new hort JV

John Deere claims a joint venture between it and California-based technology company GUSS will assist horticulture producers achieve greater on-farm…

Mulchers set the standard

Orizzonti is well known in the viticulture and orchard sectors for its specialised range of mowers and mulchers.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Say what?

OPINION: This old mutt almost choked while chewing his bone when he happened upon the latest politically-correct advice that’s been…

Why bother?

OPINION: A mate of the Hound’s recently applied for membership with Ashburton-based farm supply co-operative Ruralco.

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter