The consultation approach

Officials carried out targeted stakeholder consultation in November 2022 to seek input on initial policy issues that were identified. This input informed the development of policy options.

The second round of consultation was carried out over March – April 2023 on the policy options as set in “RSE Policy Review – options for consultation”. This document summarises feedback received from both rounds of consultation.

Submissions officially closed at midday 24 April 2023. Feedback was received from a range of stakeholders including:

  • RSE employers
  • RSE workers
  • Pacific governments
  • Pacific communities in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • unions, academics and additional agencies such as the Human Rights Commission (HRC)
  • the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

This document does not include feedback from other Government Departments, as the views of these agencies have been incorporated throughout the policy development process.

Written submissions

As of 12 May 2023, a total of 71 written submissions have been received since the second round of consultation opened. Submissions were received from RSE employers, horticulture/viticulture industry bodies, RSE workers, Pacific governments and Pacific communities. The HRC also made a submission.

Regional visits and webinars

A webinar was held with the Chief Executives of the six industry bodies on 21 March prior to commencement of consultation on 22 March. Officials visited 6 regions in person:

  • Bay of Plenty
  • Upper Auckland
  • Alexandra
  • Nelson
  • Levin
  • Hawke’s Bay.

RSE employers were consulted in all regions visited. In person sessions were also held with Pacific community groups in the Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Upper Auckland, and, in addition, a meeting was held with 120 RSE workers in the Hawke’s Bay.

A further 4 webinars were held on 17 and 18 April with RSE employers, including 1 particular to those in Gisborne and Tairawhiti, and one to members of New Zealand Ethical Employers who are primarily based in Marlborough.

Additional consultation sessions were also held with the Tripartite Group, unions (including Council for Trade Unions, First Union and Amalgamated Workers Union New Zealand), the Regional Skills Leadership Groups, the HRC, ILO, and Pasifika health professionals.

Talanoa with Pacific governments

Pacific labour mobility consultation was also held on 28-30 March in Auckland with Pacific government representatives from all nine Pacific sending countries. The 3-day talanoa was facilitated by MFAT. Considerable feedback was received on specific policy review options as well as on the wider success of the scheme for the Pacific, as part of the Pacific outcomes workstream. The Pacific Liaison Officers (PLOs) attended this talanoa and submitted their feedback along with their governments.

RSE workers

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ola Manuia Pacific RSE Health and Wellbeing Framework has been in development to ask what health and wellbeing means to the RSE worker. Development of this framework involved talanoa with:

  • RSE workers
  • employers
  • community providers
  • local councils
  • iwi
  • Pacific communities
  • churches.

Insights from this framework were incorporated into the policy review, to identify where RSE workers see the issues in the scheme and what they would like to see going forward.

INZ’s RSE worker survey delivered by Ask Your Team opened on 24 April and closed on 15 May. The survey was open to all RSE workers to provide anonymous feedback on the scheme, in their own language. The survey was open for 2 weeks and feedback relevant to the policy review has been incorporated into recommendations.

Māori and iwi

Māori and iwi were approached through Kānoa, Muka Tangata, the Regional Skills Leadership Groups and Te Matapihi to ensure that potential opportunities for Māori groups were emphasised around horticultural production, construction of accommodation, pastoral care or labour hire management. No feedback from Māori and iwi on the particular policy options for consultation has been received to date.