Recognised Seasonal Employer workers return – but only a few

Posted on 29 September 2021

The NZ Government announced quarantine free dates for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers to return to New Zealand from Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga.
From 4 October RSE workers from Vanuatu can begin arriving into New Zealand, and from 12 October, from Samoa and Tonga.
But despite the government granting these border exceptions for RSE workers (discussed here and here), these workers largely replace RSE workers who continue to return home.
Industry estimated that with the border exceptions they would have only 6,000 RSE workers for peak harvest in March 2022; roughly half the number of RSE workers (10,989) in the country when the border closed on 19 March 2020, and far less than the annual RSE cap of 14,400, writes Charlotte Bedford for the Devpolicy Blog.