fbpx
Print this page
Tuesday, 28 September 2021 09:12

One-way quarantine free travel dates confirmed for RSE scheme

Written by  Staff Reporters
The Government has announced travel dates for quarantine travel for RSE workers from Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga. The Government has announced travel dates for quarantine travel for RSE workers from Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga.

As part of a programme of work to reopen borders and reconnect with the world, the Government has announced the commencement dates for quarantine free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers into New Zealand.

From 4 October, RSE workers from Vanuatu can begin arriving in New Zealand and from 12 October RSE workers from Samoa and Tonga can begin arriving.

“This will provide much needed certainty for our growers as they gear up for summer and autumn harvesting,” says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

People arriving under the scheme must meet strict health conditions, including requirements to be vaccinated with at least one dose pre-departure, the completion of a period of self-isolation on arrival, and the returning of two negative Covid tests on Day 0 and Day 5. Employers are expected to provide the self-isolation facilities.

If workers have only received one dose of the vaccine, they are expected to complete their vaccination after they arrive in New Zealand.

“Despite the challenges of a Covid world, which has constrained the number of RSE workers who could come through MIQ, the Government has remained committed to the RSE scheme,” O’Connor says.

“The horticulture sector is worth over $6 billion to New Zealand exports. Having people coming to our shores through the RSE scheme to harvest and prune is essential to us maintaining our economic recovery from Covid-19, a recovery which is very much export-led.

“We are also aware of the positive impact the scheme has on our Pacific neighbours with the benefits of the hard work done by RSE workers flowing back home from our shores.”

The commencement of quarantine free travel for RSE workers forms a pilot scheme to test systems in preparation for a broader and safe reopening of the borders.

“We will closely monitor this first stage of one-way quarantine-free travel as we want to expand eligibility for quarantine-free entry to New Zealand from these countries and Tokelau when we can be sure it is safe to do so.”

O’Connor says he wants to thank Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu for their co-operation as well as the horticulture and viticulture sectors for their collaboration.

Up to 14,400 RSE workers normally come through New Zealand each year, with approximately 10,500 being in the country at peak harvesting times pre-Covid. As at August 2021, approximately 7,000 RSE workers were in the country.

More like this

O'Connor attends WTO meeting

Trade Minister Damien O'Connor is currently in Geneva for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 12th Ministerial Conference.

O'Connor heads to Europe, Canada

Trade and Export Minister Damien O’Connor is off to Europe, Canada and Australia with the aim of advancing New Zealand’s economic interests.

Food, fibre exports soaring

Export revenue from New Zealand's food and fibre sector is expected to reach a record $52.2 billion in the year to June 30, 2022.

National

Controversial changes for pigs

A controversial new welfare draft code is triggering vigorous debate between pig farmers and animal welfare advocated as to what…

MPI to monitor winter grazing

As Otago and Southland enters the winter grazing season, MPI says it will have inspectors on the ground ensuring things…

Machinery & Products

Making life easier

Many temporary sheep fencing systems can be troublesome, with reels jamming or breaking and the bugbear of silly hooks on…

Valtra's following grows

With the release of its N5 and T5 series of tractors, Valtra continues to expand its presence in the Australia-New…