A Hastings District councillor says not enough was done to get people to attend a Flaxmere meeting aimed at employing fruit pickers.

No one turned up to the second of two sessions on Monday. The first, a morning meeting at Camberley Community Centre got 30 people. The other at the Flaxmere Community Centre in the afternoon got none.

Flaxmere ward councillor representative Henare O'Keefe said "we as a group didn't get the word out".

People on the benefit in Camberley were sent text to encourage them to attend which is what they should have done in Flaxmere, he said.


"To get these people actually off the coach and into work you have to be creative with how you do it and people will say you shouldn't have to, but with some of these people on the benefit there is no way they would go and do it themselves."

Earlier this month the Ministry of Social Development declared a seasonal labour shortage in preparation for this season's apple harvest.

In order to find potential candidates District Council joined forces with the Ministry of Social Development and New Zealand Apples & Pears.

The ministry's regional commissioner, Annie Aranui, said "we sent texts to our Hastings clients inviting them to attend, and the meeting was also advertised via Hastings District Council and NZ Apple and Pears websites.

"The intention of the meeting was to attract people from the wider community (not just jobseeker clients) such as students, spouses of income earners and superannuitants who may want to work," Aranui said.