Wednesday, 14 July 2021 10:55

Solution needed!

Written by  Peter Burke
NZKGI's chief executive says the industry is desperate for a solution to the current labour shortage. NZKGI's chief executive says the industry is desperate for a solution to the current labour shortage.

The labour shortage in the kiwifruit industry is crying out for a solution, according to the organisation that represents New Zealand kiwifruit growers.

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) chief executive Colin Bond says there is a need to have certainty for the coming season and RSE workers from the Pacific Islands are critical. Bond says that would be a boon for the island economies, which are struggling due to the massive impact of Covid-19 on tourism, and for the New Zealand primary sector.

"We see kiwifruit, along with the other horticultural crops, needing certainty of labour supply and one way we can encourage this is by supporting employment of a workforce that can be on the orchards almost year-round."

Bond says NZKGI will continue its labour attraction strategies from previous years. He says this is based on getting good information on the work available to potential workers via collateral and a range of media, including a strong social media programme.

"One development that was expanded this year was to raise awareness of the career possibilities and long-term work available in the industry," he says. "We don't just need workers for the harvest, we need them for crucial winter and summer maintenance work, to ready the vines for the next year's crop."

Bond says in the longer term, the industry is also looking at automation - innovating and expanding into this area. He says NZKGI will be closely reviewing and evaluating its 2021 recruitment programme and assessing the new challenges to identify how the labour uncertainties could be reduced in 2022.

More like this


OPINION: Your old mate finds it rather ironic that the Government is going to open up the border to allow in 300 overseas educators to help fill the gap of teacher shortages in schools around NZ.

Migration essential for the future

OPINION: The New Zealand dairy sector attracts the best and brightest from around the world; aspirational farmers that want to make the highest quality products in the best environment.

No workers, no growth!

Zespri chief executive Dan Mathieson says unless the kiwifruit industry gets more people to work in the sector, it may have to look at slowing down its speed of growth.

More migrants?

OPINION: Latest data on immigration from Statistics New Zealand shows migrant arrival numbers plummeted early last year and we all know the reason - Covid.


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