Cyclone Gabrielle – RSE workers

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is concerned for the RSE workers affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. We are working closely with horticulture industry groups and employers in affected regions to ensure the well-being of RSE workers across the country.

15 February 2023
2 minute read

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is coordinating the support on the ground, through community hubs and evacuation centres. Wide ranging support is being provided by NEMA, and the various government agencies and non-governmental organization (NGOS) in support.

There are currently no reports of RSE workers who have been injured.

We are aware of approximately 500 people who have been displaced from their worker accommodation and are receiving support from NEMA. NEMA is coordinating the support on the ground, through community hubs and evacuation centres.

Employers are required to continue to pay them a minimum of 30 hours per week at $22.10 per hour. We are working with Industry and employers to assess the impact on the horticulture and viticulture sector. We are working with them to assess options to ensure RSE workers continue to have the opportunity to work in New Zealand if they wish to.

Employers are responsible for their workers welfare and pastoral care. Some employers have been severely impacted and NEMA is providing support to their workers. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is working closely with employers, Industry, and other agencies to ensure support is provided.

Two of the bigger RSE nations have their Pacific liaison officers on the ground in the Hawkes Bay and INZ is in regular contact with them, and all the relevant Pacific countries whose citizens are impacted by the cyclone.

As of 15 February, there are 8,226 RSE workers in New Zealand. There are around 3,352 in the Hawkes Bay, 161 in Gisborne, and 660 in the Bay of Plenty.

For further information, contact the media line on 027 442 2141 or email: