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Out in the field and the need for hard data

22 June 2021

Nadine and HortNZ President Barry O'Neil have been visiting growers.

Later this week, I will have the opportunity to get out into the field, in the Hawke's Bay, with members of the HortNZ Board.

I see opportunities like these as being crucial to ensuring that HortNZ is in touch with growers – what they need and how they are feeling, as we start to look at the next season and new Government requirements become clearer. 

Labour is a chief concern.  I know that is probably of little comfort for me to say that HortNZ and the product groups continue to engage strenuously with Government Ministers and officials on a Pacific bubble, which would enable the flow of RSE workers in and out of New Zealand, without the need for Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ). 

The Government has said it ‘remains committed to the RSE scheme’.  What HortNZ and the product groups are trying to do is make sure the Government puts that commitment into practical action. 

At the same time, you are telling us and we can see that costs are increasing while worker productivity is reducing.  This situation obviously cannot continue.  What we need to highlight further the gravity of the situation to the Government is hard data, to back up the anecdotal evidence. 

This is something that HortNZ is working on at the moment.  If you have any hard data about costs and productivity that you would be happy to share – as long as we anonymised it – please email it to HortNZ Communications Manager, Andrew Bristol: or call Andrew on 021 021 62 021.  Thanking you in advance. 

From the reports I have received, the Fieldays were a success with lots of primary industry people attending.  Please don’t forget that our Horticulture Conference is fast approaching.  It’s on 5-6 August at Mystery Creek and early registrations close on Friday.  Go here to find out more and to register at a discounted rate. 

Hei konā mai