Wednesday, 12 October 2022 07:25

One, united voice vital!

Written by  Nadine Tunley
Nadine Tunley Nadine Tunley

OPINION: Last month's welcome announcement by the Government that the RSE cap for 2022-2023 would increase to 19,000 came after weeks of discussions, where it was obvious that all of horticulture is different.

We as the sector know this but the Government, at many levels, does not understand. Yes, I hear you say, "well they should" and I used to think that as well. However, I have learnt that with finite resources and more often than not, tight to unrealistic timeframes, we need to choose our battles.

The Government expects the horticulture sector to come to it with one point of view. It does not have the time or inclination to deal with us all separately. This situation means that between us, we often need to quickly come to a shared position and communicate that succinctly and clearly to the Government, as the decision maker.

Early next year, a substantive review of the RSE scheme will get underway. In this review, it will be imperative that we come together as effectively and efficiently as possible to articulate growers' views and be united. If we cannot do this, we risk losing our seat at the table.

The reality is you all have different views because you are looking at things from your part of the sector's perspective.

That is what we, as your representatives, would expect. However, me and my team's role is to collate and distil all these different views and present the best collective position.

HortNZ can only do this if we are trusted and have a thorough understanding of the dynamics and challenges of commercial fruit and vegetable growing in New Zealand. To be confident in our views, we need growers to talk to us, their product groups and district associations, who then need to work with us to form a collective response.

This will definitely need to happen in the review of the RSE scheme next year. The Government is counting on there being one team at the negotiating table (which includes viticulture for this topic).

If we cannot come together as one team, we will be unable to ensure that the RSE scheme continues to enjoy the success that it has over the past 15 years.

Nadine Tunley is chief executive of Hort NZ

More like this

Too 'Little', too late - HortNZ

Horticulture NZ is scathing about the last gasp announcement by Labour to lift the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) by just 500 workers.

Swift action to support RSE workers

As incredible scenes of seasonal workers stranded on rooftops emerged during the flooding in Hawke's Bay in February, local businesses and community groups leapt into action, providing emergency shelter, clothing and food.

Horticulture hit hard!

The whole horticultural sector has been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, with words such devastation and almost dystopian being used.


Farmers fined for cattle abuse

A Waikato cattle farming family have been fined $23,000 for failing to provide sufficient food and care for their animals, resulting in more than half a dozen animal deaths.

App trial yields promising results

An initial trial of an app, funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, has demonstrated significant results in reducing drench inputs during a small-scale study.


2024 kiwifruit harvest begins

New Zealand’s 2024 kiwifruit harvest has kicked off with the first crop picked in Auckland, and more kiwifruit to be…

A heavy cost!

NZ Apples and Pears market manager Danielle Adsett says Hawke’s Bay lost 610 hectares of apple trees out of a…

Hawke's Bay bouncing back

Despite the terrible ravages of Cyclone Gabrielle and other adverse weather events, the 2024 apple crop in Hawke's Bay is…

New minister's hort focus

The new Minister of Horticulture, Nicola Grigg, says the reason that she came into Parliament was because of her interest…

Machinery & Products

Success for Argo tractors

The judges at last year’s Agritechnica event picked the Italian-built Landini Rex 4-120GT Robo- Shift Dynamic as the Best of…

Pollution into fertiliser

While the new government is sure to “tinker” with the previous administration’s emissions policy, a recent visit to New Zealand…

Smart money backs smart machine

Marlborough-based start-up SmartMachine claims its new machine is one of the most significant operational step changes for viticulture since the…

Robo packer hits a billion

New Zealand inventor and manufacturer Robotics Plus Limited’s fruit packing robot has hit a major milestone of one billion pieces…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound


OPINION: Your canine crusader was truly impressed by the almost unanimous support given by politicians of all stripes in Parliament…


OPINION: As this old mutt suggested in the last issue, MPI looks a very good candidate for some serious public…

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter