More support for RSE workers
A Marlborough group that oversees the labour of Recognised Seasonal Employment scheme workers in the region has been restructured to focus more on pastoral care and compliance.
The Marlborough Regional Labour Governance Group oversees about 1427 workers from the Pacific Islands.
Immigration New Zealand acting national manager RSE Unit Matt Hoskin said the ministry worked closely with industry body Wine Marlborough and wanted a specific focus on pastoral care and compliance.
The ministry was aware of about 10 criminal incidents involving RSE workers since July last year.
"Any crime committed by an RSE worker is extremely regrettable but needs to be seen in the context of as many as 1400 RSE workers being in the region during the winter," Mr Hoskin said.
Workers were given information before they left their country and as soon as they arrived in New Zealand. They were also required to participate in an induction programme and to work with New Zealand-based Pacific liaison officers.
Marlborough Regional Labour Governance Group chairman Marcus Pickens said the group had been operating for at least 12 years.
Earlier this month pastoral care and compliance were introduced as two sub committees.
"We used to just talk about how many RSE workers we wanted in the region, but now we deal with more than just numbers," Mr Pickens said.
"It is serious. We really want to address the issues and take the next step forward.
"We're engaged in assessing all labour scenarios . . . It's so vital for the region that we don't have a shortage of labour, or the work just won't be done."
- The Marlborough Express