Visitors brought in to get job done
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.