I have been working behind the scenes and in the media around staff shortages and reuniting families of our migrant staff in my sector.
I do this because I see it as part of my responsibility I choose to take on as sharemilker Chair for Southland Federated Farmers, trying to get the government to see sense and allow staff to come to NZ to fill much-needed roles.
Alongside heaps of others, the government said yes to was the 200 exemptions for dairy workers and their families, I see this as token at best, a gesture to keep us quiet – because they put conditions on the exemptions that have kept the likes of Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ and MPI busy to negotiate better conditions.
I decided then to change my focus slightly on keeping our current migrants here by encouraging our government to reunite our migrants with their families because most haven’t seen their loved ones for over two years! I also learned that Australia and Canada had started actively targeting our migrant staff to move to their countries and offering Four-year residential pathways, and unifying them with their families sooner. Sadly many have already exited, I don’t blame them as I couldn’t do what they do for that length of time. Now my family has fallen victim to this process as one of my staff has decided to take that option to be reunited with his loved ones. We were already One staff member short but could have got through fine, but now we soon will be Two staff members short and there is no staff out there so we are just going to have to dig deep just to get by.
Again I don’t blame my staff member as we only want what is best for him. We have to do this because our current government in my opinion just do not care and now I believe this is just another way to choke our industry into decreasing dairy in this country, all I can say to that is I hope their conscience can handle what’s to come.
I will continue to fight for my fellow farmers as much as I can and fight for our migrant staff so their pain and suffering will end with reunification with their families. And I can only hope that someone in the beehive i.e., Damien O’Connor grows a pair of balls and starts representing the industry he is supposed to represent, and stand up to the other non-caring politicians in charge of this circus, and start getting results for us before it’s too late.
If they can let entertainers, sportspeople, wealthy people through MIQ and do it safely then why not workers and family members. If you fall asleep at the wheel in a car you are most likely going to crash, imagine how much more damage this government is going to do because they are asleep at the wheel. Kia Kaha everyone and here if anyone just needs a chat. Together we will get through.