If you cannot find New Zealand citizens or residents to plant, maintain, harvest and pack crops in the horticulture and viticulture industries, you can apply to be a Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE). Once you have RSE status, you can apply for an Agreement to Recruit (ATR), which allows you to recruit non-New Zealand citizen or resident workers.
See the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) List of employers who have already become RSEs and agreed to make their contact details public.
The RSE category has up to 8000 places available to overseas workers per year (year ending 30 June).
Note: Everyone approved to work under RSE category will be granted an RSE limited visa. This means they cannot apply for a different type of visa while they are in New Zealand and cannot lodge an appeal if they stay in New Zealand beyond the expiry of their visa.
For employers, there are four steps in the RSE process:
The first step in the process for employers is applying for recognition as a recognised seasonal employer (RSE). To find out about the requirements you will need to meet, and how to apply for RSE status, see the RSE requirements pages.
Once you have RSE status you need to apply for an agreement to recruit (ATR) workers from offshore. To find out about the requirements you will need to meet, and how to apply for an ATR, see the ATR requirements pages.
When you have an ATR you can make a job offer. Your prospective worker will need to provide us with evidence of your offer to get a visa from offshore (see the how a worker applies for a limited visa page for details on where a worker can submit their RSE limited visa application). Then they can come to New Zealand, work for the length of time their visa is granted for, and return home. To find out about the requirements the job offer must meet, how you can help the workers that you want to apply, and where they can submit their application, see the employment agreement page.
Finally, if you want to get your workers back for another season, they may be able to return to New Zealand under a new ATR if the conditions of their visa have been met, and if there is a continued labour shortage.