Return Migration and Earnings of Workers in New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme

Return Migration and Earnings of Workers in New Ze…
01 May 2012

The Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) policy allows for the temporary entry of overseas workers to work in New Zealand’s horticulture and viticulture industries. In the four seasons of the RSE scheme to date, over 24,600 workers have arrived to participate in the scheme – yet many are return workers from previous seasons. The purpose of this report is to examine the return rates of RSE workers, their seasonal earnings, and duration of employment.

Key Results

  •  49.3 percent of first-time RSE workers return in the next season and most (86.9 percent) return to the same employer
  •  Over half (54.4 percent) of all RSE workers have returned at least once to work in another season –but the pattern of return varies between source countries.
  •  In the 2010/11 season (the fourth season), 62.1 percent of RSE workers were returning workers
  •  60 percent of workers from the first season (2007/08) have returned to work at least one other season
  •  23 percent of workers from the first season (just over 1,000 workers) have participated in all four seasons
  •  Over the first three seasons, 90 percent of RSE workers’employment duration was between 3–7 months
  •  The mean earnings over the first three seasons ranged from $12,840 in the 2007/08 season to $12,630 in the 2009/10 season.
Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018