The Orchardist - - Rse Conference 2018 -

Chal­lenges re­mained with the RSE scheme de­spite 11 years of suc­cess and growth, Min­is­ter of Im­mi­gra­tion, Iain Lees-Gal­loway told the con­fer­ence.

“Is­sues re­main such as low pay and poor con­di­tions in the in­dus­try, ac­com­mo­da­tion qual­ity and scarcity, pas­toral care and re­ports of RSE work­ers be­ing dis­cour­aged from or­gan­is­ing col­lec­tively,” he said.

MBIE had be­gun an op­er­a­tional re­view of the scheme with a wider pol­icy re­view ex­pected next year.

“If you can ad­dress five is­sues then I will com­mit to mak­ing the RSE pro­gramme work bet­ter for you.

He chal­lenged growers to do more to em­ploy more New Zealan­ders, to work on au­to­ma­tion and to con­sider pay­ing work­ers more.

“Third, I am chal­leng­ing you to think about the needs of your fu­ture work­ers. This means build­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion for ad­di­tional work­ers at the same time as you plant the ex­tra crops.”

With there still be­ing ex­ploita­tion among the con­tracted work­force he wanted em­ploy­ers to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their sup­ply chains, and his last chal­lenge was to share the suc­cesses and lessons of RSE with other in­dus­tries.

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