The apple trees are heaving with fruit. It's time to harvest and Hawke's Bay is full of migrant workers here for that exact purpose.

I was told by one orchard manager that the fruit wouldn't get picked if it wasn't for these workers.

His words were "they are hard workers, here for a purpose - to make money to take home to their families".

This paper gets lots of correspondence about migrant workers "taking away Kiwi jobs".
I really don't believe that is true.


There is plenty of work for both. However, there have been many incidents over the years of these overseas workers being taken advantage off.

Low wages and crammed accommodation being top of the list, so it was great to hear Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse announce yesterday that the government will finally crackdown on employers who breach immigration and employment laws when recruiting migrant workers.

"Migrant workers make a valuable contribution to our workforce and have the same rights as any other worker," Mr Woodhouse said.

"It is simply unacceptable that those employers who exploit migrant workers are still able to recruit from the international labour market and disadvantage those employers who do the right thing."

From what I understand it's thankfully not a three strikes and you are out law. It's one strike and that's it. You don't have the privilege of employing migrant workers again for up to two years.

It will be interesting to see how people who get caught exploiting these workers manage to get their harvest in the following season.