The Green Party welcomes National’s support of residency pathways to RSE workers, and is urging Labour to join this emerging cross-party consensus.
“The Government needs to act urgently to provide a pathway to residency for RSE workers. While we welcome National coming to the table on pathways to residency, we must go further and decouple work visas from single employers, and completely redesign the scheme to put workers rights first. Without an actual overhaul of the scheme, the exploitation of workers will continue propping up the agriculture industry,” says Green Party immigration spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March.
“We know from research and media reports that migrant workers continue to endure exploitation and unsafe accommodation.
“Workers from the Pacific need to be treated with dignity and respect, which is why the RSE scheme needs an overhaul focused on improving workers conditions and creating pathways to residency.
“The Greens have long called for pathways to residency for RSE workers, so it’s good to see other parties finally joining the call.
“But, doubling the RSE scheme without committing to improving conditions for workers, while pledging to get rid of the median wage requirements for other temporary migrant workers as National is proposing, is trying to prop up the agriculture industry through exploitation.
“The Greens remain the only party committed to fighting for fair pathways to residency for all migrant workers who help build Aotearoa,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.