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Applications are now being taken by DairyNZ for dairy farmers applying for border class exception.
This could see 200 dairy farm workers and their families come into the country.
Following the Government's decision to grant the exceptions, DairyNZ had worked closely with Federated Farmers and the Ministry for Primary Industries to ensure a robust and fair process was in place.
Opening these applications was a positive step, as it provided more clarity and detail for farmers nationwide, who were facing a staff shortage, DairyNZ responsible dairy general manager Jenny Cameron said.
"This will help some of the workers stuck overseas to return to their jobs on Kiwi farms or new migrants looking to join the sector, while supporting our farmers by relieving some of the workforce shortage," Cameron said in a statement.
"Applications will be open for an initial two weeks so we can assess and understand the interest from farmers looking to bring workers into the country through these exceptions."
Listen to Brian Kelly interview Jenny Cameron on The Country Sport Breakfast below:
For the border class exception, it was Government requirement that the industry body needed to manage the processing and assessing of exception applications.
Therefore as implementation partner, DairyNZ was responsible for ensuring that employers with the most critical workforce needs could utilise the class exception.
DairyNZ will assess applications to determine if they met the specific eligibility criteria of the exception, as set out by Government.
If the 200 dairy farm worker exception spaces were not filled in the initial two-week period, applications would remain open.
If it was oversubscribed, that was a good signal to the Government to consider making more spaces available, Cameron said.
"We understand the urgency of our farmers wanting to get people on-farm, especially as we are entering such a busy time on the farming calendar."
The New Zealand border closures could mean staff were "a couple of months away yet" due to the application process and booking MIQ space, Cameron said.
"But this exception process does deliver for the bulk of this dairy season and provides farmers with some options to fill staff shortages."
DairyNZ said it would continue to request the Government allowed class exceptions to have their own allotment of MIQ spaces, to provide on-farm support quicker and help relieve some of the staff shortage issues.
"We are also continuing to urge the Government to fast-track residency applications for migrant workers on dairy farms who want to become New Zealanders and working on reuniting families across the border," Cameron said.
"Both of those processes are very important to retain our hard-working foreign farm staff in New Zealand."
More information on the process, criteria and timeframes was available at DairyNZ's website here.
Meanwhile, Cameron had advice for farmers currently dealing with staffing shortages during the busy calving season.
"What they can do is to think about casting the net wider for recruitment, and thinking a bit differently about how to recruit staff," she told The Country Sport Breakfast's Brian Kelly.
This included hiring staff on a short-term or part time basis, having work flexibility (including job sharing), or hiring migrants that were already in New Zealand and able to work across sectors, Cameron said.
More advice was available on DairyNZ's website.
DairyNZ also encouraged farmers to retain their existing staff, Cameron said.
"It's always good to keep the staff you've got, and that means creating a good work environment and being a good boss, because staff are our biggest asset so we've got to look after them."