Farmers and growers up and down the land will be pleased with the pragmatic decision by government to extend visas for migrant workers already on our shores.
“The six-month extension for employer-assisted work visa holders and the postponed stand down period for low-paid Essential Skills via holders will come as a relief for the primary sector heading into the Christmas and New Year period,” Federated Farmers employment spokesperson Chris Lewis says.
“We thank Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi for listening to our case for this, and recognising a common sense approach.
“For more than a few farm businesses, the smaller ones in particular, production is being held together by people doing extra jobs they don’t normally do and/or working longer hours. It makes sense as we seek to rev up the post-Covid economy to keep the services of migrant workers already in New Zealand while we train more Kiwi workers,” Chris says.
In the latter part of this year Federated Farmers has ran a successful www.getkiwisonfarms programme with the Ministry of Social Development, which has resulted in hundreds of additional New Zealanders taking up jobs on farms. It’s hoped this programme can be extended.
The government’s announcements over the weekend include an extension of working holiday visas by six months.
“These decisions mean greater job security for the 192,000 migrant workers on our shores, and greater ability for their employers to spread workloads, reduce stresses and strains on current employers and employees, maintain production and plan for the future.”
- Read more about the government’s announcements, here.