New Zealand wine industry welcomes QFT announcement

New Zealand Winegrowers has welcomed the Government’s confirmation that quarantine free travel for RSE workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu will start in October.

A statement from the organisation says this announcement will provide certainty for many of its growers who rely on RSE workers “to lay the foundation for a successful growing season”.

CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers, Philip Gregan, says confirmation of QFT travel for RSE workers is a significant boost for the sector.

“Labour supply has been very tight over the winter pruning season. The start of QFT will provide security of labour as we start the growing season.”

The statement says the labour shortage issue has been a very important priority for the organisation and that it will continue to work constructively with the Government on the detail, especially to ensure safe travel for RSE workers at current alert levels.  

 “We have been working with the Government for some time, alongside our counterparts in the horticulture industry, to ensure we can meet our industry’s need for skilled workers. Securing ongoing access to off-shore labour is critical to ensure that we can get the work done, and continue to make premium wine,” he says.

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