The number of migrant dairy workers coming to NZ is on the rise

January 29, 2014

The number of migrant dairy workers coming to NZ is on the rise

Recent figures from Immigration New Zealand show that 2262 Migrant Workers are in the industry with 526 having the title of Dairy Cattle Farmer and 1736 being listed as Dairy Farm Workers.

The amount of Temporary Working Visas have risen dramatically over the last three years with the rate in 2010 being 1770 Visas compared to the 2134 Visas issued in 2012/2013. Over half the amount of applicants received was from prospective migrants in the Philippines.

The Chairman of the Federated Farmers Dairy, Willy Leferink, has said that the increase is due to a nationwide shortage of Kiwis filling these positions. There is a widespread misconception in New Zealand that this industry is a low paid and low skilled career and so it is one that many Kiwis are not willing to do. He said that we are short of workers in the country, with a lack of natives taking up these positions it leaves no option but to import labour in the form of migrants. To do this they have made the process easier and simpler for applying in order to entice more migrants into the country. A new electronic document has been created which is an all in one practical programme which will help dairy farmers in New Zealand be able to simplify the procedure of hiring migrant workers.

Willy Leferink arrived in New Zealand over two decades ago, with nothing. He now has two sharemilkers who are on their way speedily to farm ownership. He said they are earning a lot of money and working brilliantly. He said that there is a massive opportunity in the industry of farming and it's not all about hard work, but smart work.

Agriculture is an industry often overlooked by natives who prefer in nowadays to work in offices in sectors such as IT and management as a way to climb to business ladder and keep clean hands at the same time. The opportunities in Agriculture are vast. You may not wear a sharp suit, or fly the world for business meetings but you can achieve something to be proud of, a legacy to leave your heirs and make a decent life for yourself in New Zealand. 

Migrant workers will never be exploited in New Zealand. By enrolling in dairy farming all employers have to adhere to the laws and rules surrounding employment this means a minimum wage, regular breaks and a strict contract to protect all workers.

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