Tuesday, 18 May 2021 09:55

Moves fall way short - RCNZ

Written by  Staff Reporters
Rural Contractors NZ chief executive Roger Parton. Rural Contractors NZ chief executive Roger Parton.

Allowing only 125 skilled agricultural machinery operators into New Zealand next season falls way short of what's needed, says rural contractors.

Last week, the Government announced that of 5,000 exemptions to border controls, 125 mobile agricultural machinery operators would be allowed.

Rural Contractors NZ chief executive Roger Parton says while the 125 exemptions will help, a recent survey of his members showed a need for 400 experienced operators as an absolute minimum.

Parton released extracts from the survey which shows shortages of skilled machinery operators forced many rural contractors to work very long hours and face a lot of stress.

He says some contractors say they are considering leaving the industry because the 2020/21 season was so stressful due to the lack of skilled workers, compounded by having to manage inexperienced staff.

"What the Government must acknowledge is there are limits to how many people we can recruit and train to competently drive a $500,000-plus machine - and then be happy doing so, living and working remotely for only a few months a year."

Parton says many farmers are largely dependent on contractors to provide them with the feed they need to get stock through winter and adverse weather events like the drought in many regions this year or to help ensure crops can be produced and harvested.

Rural Contractors NZ is seeking an urgent meeting with MPI to discuss the latest decision and see what, if any, discretion may be able to be applied, given the risks posed by the announced border exemption for only 125 skilled machinery operators.

More like this

Visa roadblock!

Visa applications for migrant dairy workers are being declined over a contentious 40-hour working week requirement by the Government.

Dreaming!

OPINION: Your canine crusader reckons the recent immigration reset by the Government, restricting the inflow of 'low-skilled' migrant workers into the country, is not only myopic and ideological but also poorly thought-out policy.

National

Guy standing for Ravensdown

Former Agriculture Minister and Horowhenua dairy farmer Nathan Guy is standing for election to the Ravensdown board of directors.

Machinery & Products

Helps tame the wind!

Amazone's recently released WindControl System automatically monitors and adjusts the spreading pattern to compensate for the effect of the wind…

First Claas patent hits a century

While Claas has registered more than 3,000 patents during its 108-year history, the company is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary…

JD invests in robotics

Global giant Deere and Co has acquired Silicon Valley start-up company Bear Flag Robotics, which specialises in autonomous driving technologies…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Too many hits?

OPINION: Well-known professional protestor, John Minto has run off at the mouth without checking his facts.

Good question!

A mate of the Hound's thinks it was more than a bit dodgy when DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter