Growers nervous of labour shortages despite imminent arrival of RSE workers

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The arrival of seasonal workers from next week gives growers some certainty, but they fear the upcoming season will still be a big challenge.

Seasonal workers arriving from the Pacific Islands next week will be able to skip MIQ and go to work during their isolation period.

Vaccinated workers from Vanuatu can come in from next Monday, while those from Tonga and Samoa will need to wait until Tuesday, 12 October.

The workers will complete a self-isolation period of seven days and undertake day zero and day five tests, all while working at their work sites.

Up to 14,400 RSE workers normally come through New Zealand each year and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said the pilot scheme would test systems for a broader reopening of the borders.

Horticulture New Zealand said in 2019, exports from the horticulture sector reached an estimated value of $6.4 billion.

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