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ACT Party Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron and Immigration spokesperson James McDowall say there needs to be a slap in the face to the horticulture industry.
“What a slap in the face to the horticulture and viticulture sectors today’s $350,000 ‘wellbeing support package’ is as they face losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” both said.
Mr Cameron adds that there does not need to be workshops but a greater need for workers. Calling the news ‘pitfil’ that Hawke’s Bay is short in the thousands.
“To get this pitiful news in a week when it’s become clear that Hawke’s Bay is short of thousands of workers and estimates its apple losses alone will run to between $100 and $200 million this year is just sickening,” said Mr Cameron.
“The Government doesn’t seem to understand the lifecycle of plants, having rationalised that a sector that had ‘had it good for a number of years could suck up one rotten harvest. But winter pruning is just around the corner, and a substandard job along with too few workers will impact next year’s harvest too.”
New Zealand’s economy is suffering according to the political party, and it needs the Pacific Island communities to grow the economy.
Dr McDowall mentions that the reduction of workers is having a terrible impact on the workers’ countries.
“Reducing the number of Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme workers from the Pacific from about 15,000 to 2000 is having a terrible financial impact on the countries those workers come from,” said Dr McDowall.
“It’s surely beyond any of their comprehension that they can’t travel to New Zealand and earn money for their families when there’s no COVID in their countries either. On all levels, this is financially and socially disastrous for New Zealand businesses and the workforce they rely on to be successful and employ more New Zealanders in full-time jobs.”
“Why the Government didn’t expand the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) when the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) identified it could be 23 facilities – or 3000 beds – larger is beyond me.”
Image: NZ Parliament [Vimeo – James McDowall]
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