Tuesday, 22 September 2020 13:08

New visa for 11,000 seasonal workers

Written by  Staff Reporters
The SSE visas will allow holders to work in horticulture and viticulture roles. The SSE visas will allow holders to work in horticulture and viticulture roles.

Around 11,000 people whose working visas are set to expire over the 2020/21 season have been granted a new visa.

The Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) visa will be automatically given to working holiday visa holders in New Zealand with visas expiring between 1 November 2020 and 31 March 2021.

The Government says these visas will allow them to work in horticulture and viticulture roles, where there are not enough New Zealanders available to do this work.

“This season we expect more Kiwis, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, will be available to work in these sectors, but it is likely there will be a shortfall of workers as these industries have often relied on migrants for their seasonal peaks,” said Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi.

“Therefore, people in New Zealand with expiring working holiday visas will be able to stay here to fill short-term horticulture and viticulture roles,” said Faafoi.

Employers can take on these workers when there are unfilled Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme spaces with an RSE employer, or there are unfilled roles available with an accredited SSE employer.

Employers will also be able to take on SSE workers for roles in regions specified on a list which the Ministry of Social Development is currently compiling.

Government changes will also enable other work visa holders to apply for an SSE visa if they have a job offer from one of these employers or if the job is on the Ministry of Social Development list.

In addition, all RSE scheme workers stranded in New Zealand who have been granted a more flexible limited visa to be able to work part-time and do non-RSE work will be able to ‘re-enter’ the RSE scheme and work for an RSE employer with 30 hours per week average pay guaranteed. 

Faafoi said the Government remained committed to the RSE scheme.

“We know many RSE workers are stranded in New Zealand because of COVID-19. These changes will provide certainty and options for these people, and we expect RSE workers will have priority for any seasonal work that cannot be filled by New Zealanders.

“Our borders are closely controlled in order to keep COVID-19 out. While only a small number of migrants can arrive in New Zealand, the Government is enabling the remaining migrant workforce to stay on. This will go a long way to support the labour needs of the horticulture and viticulture industries.

“RSE workers offshore will be able to return and work in New Zealand when it is safe to do so.

“The RSE scheme is part of our special relationship with the Pacific and is a win-win for us and our Pacific neighbours. It helps ensure our horticulture and viticulture industries are productive, and the scheme supports Pacific Island economies through remittances,” said Faafoi.

More like this

Bull sales continue in lockdowns

A hybrid auction platform launched during last year's Covid lockdown is allowing beef and dairy bull sales across the North Island to continue.

Benefits of shovel ready projects

OPINION: As I write, our nation has returned to lockdowns and it has given me time to reflect on all we have accomplished in the year since the Covid-19 pandemic hit this country hard.

Alliance Group's online sales surge

Online sales via Alliance Group’s online red meat delivery channel puresouthshop.com have grown significantly during the Covid-19 alert level restrictions.

Solid result for Arla despite Covid

European co-operative Arla Foods says it has delivered financial results and branded sales volumes at the top end of expectations, despite challenges posed by Covid-19.

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