Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced “the largest increase to the RSE Scheme in over a decade”. The scheme, which brings seasonal workers to New Zealand from across the Pacific, will increase by 3,000 places. The announcement came as the RSE scheme faced scrutiny for leading to overcrowded and poor living conditions for some of the workers who have come to New Zealand.
The government will allow a further 3000 seasonal workers into New Zealand as part of the RSE scheme, despite recent concerns about work and living conditions.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised the government would tidy up the RSE scheme. “With more workers comes more responsibility, and rightly so,” she said, announcing the 3000 worker increase. “We know that there are acute workforce pressures on these sectors at the moment, which will only intensify further as we come into summer. At the same time, many of our Pacific neighbours are keen to see the RSE scheme strengthened.”
HortNZ: 'RSE cap increase is good news'
Horticulture New Zealand has welcomed the government’s decision to increase the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme cap to 19,000 for the coming season.
HortNZ Chief Executive, Nadine Tunley: "This decision gives growers confidence to continue to invest as they go into the 2022-2023 harvest season. Any decision that helps our industry address its chronic labour shortage is good news."