[2 November/New Zealand Herald]

Kerikeri Horticulturist Brett Heap is angered at government bureaucracy preventing him from employing two more Thai nationals. The zucchini farmer currently employs nine Thai nationals legitimately under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme to fill jobs that New Zealanders cannot or will not do. He would like to employ two more but has been told by immigration NZ that he can’t. He has been instead advised to take on Pacific Islanders, which he did not want to do for reasons including a culture clash. He said that fruit picking was the problem and that the Thais who were working for him did an excellent job. He was happy to employ New Zealanders but had not had the best of experiences in the past. Mr Heap would like a complete review of the RSE scheme. The two extra Thai workers would allow him to expand and employ an additional New Zealander through WINZ.