Support service 'vital' for new migrant dairy workers
DairyNZ has given its support to a Venture Southland alternative settlement support delivery model.
The alternative settlement support report was drafted by Venture Southland after Immigration New Zealand proposed a national restructuring that would see a fulltime, Southland-based settlement co-ordinator replaced with a national, basic face-to-face settlement information service, eight retention specialists throughout the country, and phone and email support.
Venture Southland wants Immigration NZ to consider a successful service delivery model such as a Regional Partnership Programme, with a fulltime person in the region.
A letter from DairyNZ senior policy adviser Dr Mike Mackay says he wanted to convey its support for the continuation of the face-to-face Settlement Support Service provided to new immigrants in Southland.
The service provides new immigrant dairy workers with a vital and independent source of local advice (including the provision of information on education opportunities, employment and health-related matters) and the rural community connections needed for a positive settlement experience, the letter says.
Worker retention was also a key positive outcome.
While DairyNZ supported the Government's focus on adapting and improving programme delivery, it shared Venture's concerns.
A lower level of face-to-face service provision would be disappointing, the letter says.
"DairyNZ would encourage Immigration New Zealand to review and consider trialling the alternative delivery model you [Venture] have developed in the Southland region."
The proposed Venture Southland model combined the best elements of the Government's change-package with pragmatic delivery mechanisms for rural regions.
- The Southland Times