Vis­i­tors brought in to get job done

Marlborough Midweek - - Front Page -

By RAEWYN TRETHE­WAY To work in New Zealand, one needs to be ei­ther a res­i­dent or have some sort of visa to al­low you to live and work here.

A work visa can be quite dif­fi­cult to get if you are not a highly skilled worker.

The def­i­ni­tion of a skilled worker can be found on the im­mi­gra­tion web­site, and if your skills are needed it makes it eas­ier to work here, but there are other cri­te­ria that need to be met such as health and crim­i­nal his­tory as well.

How­ever, there are a cou­ple of other schemes that al­low people to come and live in New Zealand with­out be­ing un­der the skilled cat­e­gory.

These are the Recog­nised Sea­sonal Em­ployer(RSE) Scheme and the Pa­cific Quota. RSE The RSE scheme al­lows for people who do not live in New Zealand to be brought to the coun­try for sea­sonal work in the hor­ti­cul­ture and viti­cul­ture in­dus­tries. These work­ers are pro­tected un­der New Zealand law, plus there are a num­ber of other con­di­tions em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees have to abide by.

The scheme al­lows an em­ployer to re­cruit work­ers from spec­i­fied over­seas coun­tries.

These work­ers have all the same rights as New Zealand work­ers un­der the Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions Act 2000, such as min­i­mum en­ti­tle­ments like an em­ploy­ment agree­ment.

People on the scheme also have a right to ex­tra train­ing, to have ac­com­mo­da­tion, food and health ser­vices pro­vided at a rea­son­able cost, and have the new em­ployer pay for half of the cost of their flights to and from New Zealand.

Their em­ployer must also pro­vide rea­son­able as­sur­ance that the em­ployee will not break the con­di­tions of their limited visa while they are here, and once com­pleted the em­ployee must re­turn back to their home.

There is a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship be­tween New Zealand and Samoa and the Pa­cific Ac­cess Cat­e­gory coun­tries of Tonga, Tu­valu and Kiri­bati. This is recog­nised by the Pa­cific Quota Scheme. Each year up to 1100 Samoan cit­i­zens, 250 Ton­gan cit­i­zens and 75 cit­i­zens from Kiri­bati and Tu­valu are selected by bal­lot to be con­sid­ered for the grant of res­i­dence in New Zealand.

The Pa­cific Quo­tas en­able New Zealand em­ploy­ers to ac­cess work­ers who can stay in New Zealand per­ma­nently. Suc­cess­ful can­di­dates are granted res­i­dent visas based on be­ing selected by bal­lot, ob­tain­ing suit­able job of­fers, and meet­ing im­mi­gra­tion re­quire­ments such as health, ed­u­ca­tion and hous­ing. Ap­pli­cants are aged be­tween 18 and 45.

The Samoa quota be­gan in 1970 and is part of the re­la­tion­ship es­tab­lished in the 1962 Treaty of Friend­ship be­tween New Zealand and Samoa. Each year 1100 cit­i­zens of Samoa are selected by bal­lot.

The Pa­cific Ac­cess Cat­e­gory be­gan in 2002, and pro­vides a sim­i­lar av­enue to New Zealand res­i­dence for 250 cit­i­zens of Tonga, 75 cit­i­zens of Kiri­bati and 75 cit­i­zens of Tu­valu.

This al­lows for people to gain res­i­dence in New Zealand and also to have the same rights as New Zealan­ders in re­la­tion to ed­u­ca­tion, health, em­ploy­ment and so on, and un­like the pre­vi­ous scheme the per­son does not need to re­turn home as they are con­sid­ered per­ma­nent res­i­dents.

Em­ploy­ers must abide by all stan­dard labour re­quire­ments, in­clud­ing pro­vid­ing a safe place of work, rea­son­able hours of work and min­i­mum wages and hol­i­day en­ti­tle­ments. It’s im­por­tant for em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees to know their obli­ga­tions and their rights.

For people com­ing to New Zealand, visa con­cerns can be a Hands on: Un­der the Recog­nised Sea­sonal Em­ployer Scheme people who do not live in New Zealand can be brought to the coun­try for sea­sonal work in the hor­ti­cul­ture and viti­cul­ture in­dus­tries. Photo: FILE worry.

If you or some­one that you know have ques­tions about their visas, whether the is­sue is over em­ploy­ment or visa ap­pli­ca­tions, visit Com­mu­nity Law Marl­bor­ough at 16 Mar­ket St, or phone 03 577 9919 for ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion. – Raewyn Trethe­way is the Com­mu­nity Law Marl­bor­ough man­ager.

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