[8 February/Radio NZ]

Six hundred more immigrant workers will be permitted to enter New Zealand annually under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme. The RSE scheme gives Pacific Islanders short-term visas to work in New Zealand’s horticulture and viticulture sectors. The cap had increased to 10,500 last year, and the government decided it will increase to 11,100 people this year. Workplace Relations and Immigration Minister, Iain Lees-Galloway, said the changed allowed the sector to meet the pressures of a predicted early and prosperous harvest. Mr Lees-Galloway introduced the Employment Relations Amendment Bill to Parliament last week to improve employment practices amongst employers and contractors.