Potential labour shortage unless visa problems fixed

The Government needs to act fast or dairy farmers will be left short-staffed during the busy calving season as thousands of worker’s migrant visas are set to expire, National’s Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett says.

“There are currently 588 migrants on level 1 essential skills visas and a further 2566 on level 5 essential skills visas that are set to expire between the beginning of July and the end of September.

“This is only counting those currently employed on dairy farms. There are thousands more migrant workers facing visa expiries across New Zealand’s primary industries.

“For dairy farmers, these migrant workers are invaluable and farmers need continuity of employment as they head into calving season. They need assurance they won’t be left in the lurch.

“Many of these visas expire from the 9th of July so the Government needs to move quickly to provide dairy farmers assurance that they will not be facing a labour shortage during an already difficult season.

“Migrant workers are a valuable part of New Zealand’s dairy industry and the wider primary sector. The Government needs to support these workers and their employers.”