Fed Farmers welcomes further easing of borders
“They say good things take time, and the feds have been building pressure for this necessary step for many, many months,” Federated Farmers employment spokesman Chris Lewis said.
“Hopefully the system is nimble enough to get these people to New Zealand and to the workplace when we need them – especially for the busy spring dairy calving season.”
The new settings include an increase in the current border exception for many different professions, including assistant dairy farm managers, dairy herd managers and dairy farm assistants from 500 to a total of 800 for those earning at minus the median wage plus $1 per hour. This equates to $28 per hour.
“The federation’s message to farmers is to take these places,” Mr Lewis said.
“We know that with rising fuel and fertilizer prices, concerns in some districts about complementary feeds and other factors, it can be tempting to try to tackle labor shortages.
“But just remember the stress you and the rest of the team are under, the health and safety factors and the difficulties on the list of giving people decent time off when you’re understaffed.”
The meat worker frontier class exception cap will be extended by an additional 500 workers on top of the previously agreed figure of 150 workers.
“There are very real constraints on the meat supply chain and while some districts are in drought, in other parts of the country farmers may have withheld stocks. very positive to fill the labor gaps so that the factories can operate at full capacity again.”
Border class exceptions have also been approved for up to 300 forestry forestry workers and up to 280 timber processors and manufacturers to enter the country.
— PERSONAL JOURNALIST