Orchardists should look in their own back yards

The Government should work with Hawke’s Bay orchardists who are struggling to find workers to promote jobs to New Zealanders before looking to any relax immigration rules, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“Representatives of the horticulture industry have assured me in the past few days that people working on orchards and in pack houses can earn well and have good working conditions.

“However, they are concerned that this is not the image most New Zealanders have of seasonal horticultural work.

“Rather than bringing more people into the country to make up the shortfall, the industry and Government need to ensure that pay and conditions are sufficient to attract the workforce they need from within New Zealand.

“Ultimately this is a matter of supply and demand. If pay and conditions are insufficient to attract the workers they need the answer is simple: Pay them well and they will come,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.