A decade of employment solutions for Otago
Last week, I was at the 10 year anniversary celebration of Seasonal Solutions.
A labour contractor, Seasonal Solutions was established 13 years ago to provide seasonal labour to growers in Central Otago, and in the past 10 years has provided primarily Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Vanuatu. (The RSE scheme provides seasonal workers from mainly the Pacific Islands to horticultural and viticulture employers in New Zealand. The workers remains in New Zealand for about six months and so, do not add to New Zealand’s permanent population. The workers contribute to New Zealand’s productivity through the work they do.)
Seasonal Solutions was the among the first organisations in New Zealand to get RSE workers from the Pacific, and today provides seasonal labour to wine and horticultural growers in Central Otago and Marlborough, with joint Approval To Recruit with North Island RSE employers shoring up the number of workers for its areas of operation in the South Island.
The majority of Seasonal Solutions workers are RSE workers, due to the difficulties of sourcing kiwi workers in the South Island areas it operates in; as such, it is the largest RSE employer with more than1100 RSE employed. As with all RSE employers, Seasonal Solutions has a duty to protect the integrity of the scheme by providing world class pastoral care for the RSE workers and meeting all New Zealand’s legal requirements.
The RSE scheme will be 10 years old next year, and it has been an incredible boon for employers, workers, and workers’ villages in the Pacific Islands alike. As we move into the next decade, we need to adapt the scheme so that it continues to support our industry’s growth, and delivers what the workers and their communities need. Significant aid has been provided to the Pacific as a result of the RSE scheme and many of the RSE workers, while in New Zealand, have learnt skills to use on the return to their homes, villages and nations.
We also need to increase our programmes to get kiwis into not just permanent work, but also seasonal work; as this is the quid pro quo for us having the RSE scheme.
So congratulations Seasonal Solutions for meeting the needs of the growers in Central Otago and Marlborough for the past 13 years.
- Mike Chapman, CEO