The Te Puke Economic Development Group hosted Winston Peters' campaign stop last week.
In response to a question about the horticulture sector, which has been struggling to find staff to pick its fruit, Peters had a new solution to this problem.
"It may be that we need to fly these people [seasonal workers] out of Vanuatu and out of Tonga and out of the Pacific on military planes to get them here," he said.
"They [these countries] are Covid-free so they don't need to go through the quarantine."
Peters, who is also New Zealand's Foreign Minister, said New Zealand's military could be doing "so much more'' to prevent more economic damage in the horticulture sector.
He said getting commercial airliners to Pacific countries from New Zealand has not been possible.
He also said the NZ First-led Provincial Growth Fund had delivered "massive'' results for regions such as the Bay of Plenty and would continue to do so.
In August it was announced that $18 million from the Provincial Growth Fund would be made available for road interchange that it is hoped will kick start the development of the Rangiuru Business Park.
Peters also said the Government needed to focus more on KiwiRail "connecting areas like the Bay of Plenty and Northland'' with maritime and roading routes.
Te Puke EDG managing director Mark Boyle said the opportunity for members to hear Peters speak came from the organisation's working relationship with Rotorua list MP and New Zealand First's deputy leader, Fletcher Tabuteau.
"I talked to him about it and he organised it accordingly," said Boyle.
Boyle said the general view of members was that Peters was very engaging.
"He talked about various things with an economic focus, but I think the thing that became most interesting was the discussion about RSEs (Recognised Seasonal Employers).
''Questions were asked about labour and he was very pragmatic saying why don't we use the military to fly them in and take them home."