The Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme cap will increase by 1750 to 12,850, providing much-needed labour for the horticulture and viticulture industries in New Zealand, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced.

Lees-Galloway said the Government would review the RSE scheme next year to ensure it delivered improvements. He had earlier challenged RSE employers to make the industry more attractive to workers by providing better wages and conditions, build more staff accommodation, help stamp out migrant exploitation, and transform horticulture and viticulture from low-cost industries to ones based on quality, productivity, and high value products.

The cap increase has been praised by Horticulture NZ chief executive Mike Chapman, who said about one-third of 30,000 workers required for orchard harvesting and pruning came from the RSE scheme.