The Seasonal Labour Strategy and the Role of Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) in helping make Transformative changes for Employers and Industry


  • Richard Whatman Department of Labour and Horticulture New Zealand
  • Jerf Van Beek Department of Labour and Horticulture New Zealand



The Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme is the most prominent part of a broader labour market strategy for the horticulture and viticulture industries. The purpose of the Horticulture and Viticulture Seasonal Labour Strategy (the Strategy) is to transform the seasonal labour market, which this decade has been characterised by very low productivity, high turnover, and illegal work practices. This labour market failure has cost industry and the government hundreds of millions of dollars, though the full cost will never he known. The Strategy, working off the fulcrum of RSE, has been very successful in its early stages of implementation. There are many problems, but the trajectory of change is highly promising. This paper explores the conception, theoretical underpinnings and implementation of a unique experiment in labour market transformation, evidence of that transformation, where available, is referenced.


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