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RSE workers affected by Cyclone Gabrielle

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

23 February 2023
2 minute read

There are no reports of RSE workers being injured by the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle. The 12 RSE workers who were unaccounted for have been located and are being looked after. 

Support for RSE workers

MBIE is working closely with employers, industry and other agencies to ensure support is provided and workers who have been affected by the weather events are being looked after.

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

The role of a Pacific liaison officer includes being a first point of contact for workers, employers and government agencies, helping workers with queries around their welfare, employment rights and responsibilities, providing and coordinating pastoral care. They also keep their home governments informed of any worker issues, and facilitate the arrival and departure of RSE workers.

RSE workers will continue to receive a minimum of 30 hours per week at $22.10 per hour.

Support for industry

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 and ensure RSE workers continue to have the opportunity to work in New Zealand.

Some RSE workers in the Hawkes Bay have been able to resume or start work for RSE employers unaffected by the flooding.

It is within the scope of the RSE scheme for employees to be asked to undertake appropriate clean-up activities at their employer’s properties.

We are currently working on providing flexibility to RSE employers for RSE workers who were destined for Hawkes Bay or that need to be relocated out of Hawkes Bay.

RSE workers coming to New Zealand

For workers who are yet to arrive in the country, we are making sure that their employer is able to provide employment, accommodation and meet their pastoral care requirements before they travel to New Zealand.

We know which RSE workers are due to arrive in New Zealand and where they are going to work. RSE workers going to unaffected regions of New Zealand are still able to arrive.

Where to go for help

Workers who need help should contact their employer in the first instance, or their Pacific liaison person, or the local NEMA response person.