Recognised Seasonal Employer

You should consider becoming a Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) if you are a horticulture or viticulture employer who cannot find New Zealand workers to plant, maintain, harvest and pack crops. If granted RSE status, you can then apply for an Agreement to Recruit which allows you to recruit workers from offshore to fill these roles.


  • When you are first granted Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) status, it is valid for 2 years.
  • If you apply again for an RSE status, it will be valid for 3 years. 
  • Agreements to Recruit are valid for one season.

With this option employers can

  • Recruit overseas workers to plant, maintain, harvest or pack crops – you will need to apply for an Agreement to Recruit first.

Things to note

  • We usually grant Agreements to Recruit (ATR) to recruit workers from eligible Pacific nations. ATRs may be granted for other counties only if it is not feasible to recruit from these nations.
  • While your workers are working on your worksite, you will be responsible for their day-to-day work and supervision.
  • It is OK to use recruitment agencies to recruit overseas workers as long as the agency doesn’t charge the workers for finding them a job.
  • Key COVID-19 updates for Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSEs) in New Zealand