With thousands of migrant visas set to expire, National’s ag spokesperson David Bennett is urging the Government to act quickly to avoid a potential labour shortage for the calving season.
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“There are currently 588 migrants on level 1 essential skills visas and a further 2566 on level 5 essential skills visas that are set to expire between the beginning of July and the end of September,” says Bennett.

“This is only counting those currently employed on dairy farms. There are thousands more migrant workers facing visa expiries across New Zealand’s primary industries,”

Bennett says these migrant workers are invaluable and farmers need continuity of employment as they head into calving season.

He says dairy farmers need assurance from the Government that they won’t be left in the lurch.

“Many of these visas expire from the 9th of July so the Government needs to move quickly to provide dairy farmers assurance that they will not be facing a labour shortage during an already difficult season.

“Migrant workers are a valuable part of New Zealand’s dairy industry and the wider primary sector. The Government needs to support these workers and their employers.”

Farmers say no relief is in sight.

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