New Zealand Winegrowers welcomes the Government announcement today to recommence the movement of RSE workers from the Pacific to New Zealand.
“The announcement today will help the New Zealand wine industry secure access to the supply of off-shore labour that we need, to ensure that we can continue to make premium quality wine. At least some of these workers will arrive in time for winter pruning, a skilled role at which they excel. This decision will benefit workers, their families and our wine regions,” says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.
“The projected labour shortage has been a real concern for some regions, especially Marlborough and Central Otago, and we need this additional labour supply to meet our seasonal peak demands.”
Pruning is particularly important this year, to set up the industry for optimal fruit production in 2022. This decision will help the New Zealand wine industry to plan with more certainty for the rest of the year. However, the increased costs associated with bringing RSE workers into New Zealand will play a part in whether or not some businesses can take advantage of the Government’s decision.