Seasonal labour shortage declared in Central Otago

​12 December 2017 

A last resort measure to declare a seasonal labour shortage in the Central Otago district has been made by the Ministry of Social Development.

Due to the exceptionally warm weather over the past few weeks we have been advised by growers that their harvest will be ready much earlier than expected.  Therefore there is an urgent need for labour.  It is the first time the Ministry has declared a seasonal labour shortage this early in the season.

"As always, our first priority is to assist New Zealanders in Central Otago looking for work.  However there are simply not enough people to meet employer demand in the peak of their harvesting season," says Jason Tibble, Southern Regional Commissioner for Social Development. 

"We have exhausted all other sources to find enough workers, including referring local unemployed people, and recognised seasonal employer (RSE) workers.

"Any Immigration New Zealand office can assist with labour supply by approving a Variation of Conditions for visitors to New Zealand who already hold visitor permits providing they meet the qualification criteria so they can undertake work in orchards and vineyards," says Mr Tibble.

The seasonal labour shortage has been declared for the six weeks from 12 December 2017 to 20 January 2018.  However should conditions change, the Ministry will review the continuation of the labour shortage declaration.​

Useful websites:

Seasonal Solutions Cooperative Ltd​

Immigration New Zealand


Page reviewed: 13 Dec 2017 10:49am