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djtOtago
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  #2576416 30-Sep-2020 11:38
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Fred99:

 

mattwnz:

 

Once the wage subsidies end and some business start laying off staff, some people are going to have to take up these jobs, and I imagine these companies will have to pay more. eg at least minimum wage.  IMO we shouldn't have ever been relying on low paid migrant workers to run a big part of our economy IMO. Some good may come out of Covid

 

 

They do have to pay minimum wage even if the worker is on piece rates, but I don't think they guarantee hours, so if there's no picking because of weather etc, then no pay.

 

A bin of apples is ~450kg, bin rate is ~ <$30, you need to pick >300kg of apples an hour to make better than minimum wage.

 

 

In my 20s some 30 years ago I spent 5 summers picking fruit on several different orchards around Hawke's Bay. On my own I could easily pick a bin of apples in about 1 hour if working from the ground, or using a hydra-ladder and about 1 and half hours if using a normal ladder. I was paid $15 - $18 dollars a bin depending on the variety of Apple.
If I was picking something small like plums I would get paid by the hour, about $11.00 per hour from memory, and that was 30 years ago.

 

Picking fruit is not backbreaking work. But you do have to turn up and work.


mudguard
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  #2576426 30-Sep-2020 11:55
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This is getting a little off topic, but I would see the workers in Blenheim for harvest when I'm there for work and often thought (pre-covid), should your business exist if it essentially relies on imported labour at what has been pointed out, likely under the minimum wage?

 

Should pickers be paid $50 per hour instead, maybe the average bottle of wine in NZ should cost $100 if that's what is required to pick the fruit. It's not really like those who work at ski-fields and go winter to winter where they can work almost year round. 

 

What should the true cost of these products be?


 
 
 
 


Rikkitic
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  #2576437 30-Sep-2020 12:39
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I don't possess special knowledge of this issue but I have always felt that an industry that depends on temporary importation of low-paid foreign labour cannot have good long-term survival prospects. Apart from social justice issues, it just seems like a very shaky foundation to rest a significant portion of New Zealand's economy on.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


ezbee
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  #2576438 30-Sep-2020 12:39
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Its perhaps a little off topic , but perhaps not as part of covid is new economy until vaccination and treatments. 
We will be doing things differently and there are people that were very good workers , but in industries no longer needing them available to work.
We may also be doing things differently for a while and how often have we heard rural pleas to revitalize rural towns etc.

 

Agriculture harvesting costs.

 

Well if the number of < $30 for a 450Kg bin is right , then thats about 6.6cents per Kg.
So a very small; % of the cost of apples, so this could increase by a % and not make prices uneconomic.

 

Even allowing for multiplication of this through the wholesale, retail margins, does not seem to be a huge impost on retail price.

 

In these times, clean and green, with great reputation, when people are especially looking for healthy food.
Which seemed to show in excellent export season last season.
Well I have been constantly told that we do sell our product at a premium, so seems room to pay pickers a % more to encourage more to give it a go and find they like it and the money.

 

We do have more people looking for work, without tourists there maybe more options like the fleet of campervans for people to live near picking sites for the season etc.

 

Relying on 40-50K people coming in through the boarder would seem risky.
Sure we will get some, but I can see delays, uncertainties, it would seem sensible to be doing planning now on how to accommodate and promote the lifestyle to locals, for a working holiday.
Swap gym fees for picking income and fresh air.
Grab people that are available before your competition does. 

 

That is also the other aspect, Competition, if everyone's costs go up 
there is still likely income to be made picking your crop, you are not competing with last years price.

 

There may also be direct sales opportunities, now we have better online sales infrastructure sell boxes direct to townies.

 

Listening to naysayers is not going to help, if you do have a crop to pick. 


shk292
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  #2576445 30-Sep-2020 12:47
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mudguard:

 

This is getting a little off topic, but I would see the workers in Blenheim for harvest when I'm there for work and often thought (pre-covid), should your business exist if it essentially relies on imported labour at what has been pointed out, likely under the minimum wage?

 

Should pickers be paid $50 per hour instead, maybe the average bottle of wine in NZ should cost $100 if that's what is required to pick the fruit. It's not really like those who work at ski-fields and go winter to winter where they can work almost year round. 

 

What should the true cost of these products be?

 

 

The problem is it's a global market.  Who is going to pay $100 for an average bottle of kiwi wine when the Aus/Chile/USA equivalent is $15?  Even is we price-fixed our internal market, we wouldn't be able to export.

 

The time of an unskilled worker just isn't worth $50 per hour, and any business that tried to pretend it was would go out of business very rapidly.

 

I fully agree that we shouldn't be relying on imported casual labour for this work, and with predictions of up to 11% unemployment by the end of the year, it's difficult to see why this is even contemplated.


tdgeek
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  #2576457 30-Sep-2020 13:07
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shk292:

 

 

 

The problem is it's a global market.  Who is going to pay $100 for an average bottle of kiwi wine when the Aus/Chile/USA equivalent is $15?  Even is we price-fixed our internal market, we wouldn't be able to export.

 

The time of an unskilled worker just isn't worth $50 per hour, and any business that tried to pretend it was would go out of business very rapidly.

 

I fully agree that we shouldn't be relying on imported casual labour for this work, and with predictions of up to 11% unemployment by the end of the year, it's difficult to see why this is even contemplated.

 

 

Your right, we will import cheaper product if thats cheaper. If we dont rely on this cheaper labour, what that means is pulling out the trees. That won't help unemployment.


kingdragonfly
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  #2576458 30-Sep-2020 13:09
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Perhaps if it's advertised as "union made" or some other form of employee friendly company, it may be a win-win situation.

Higher prices doesn't necessarily mean reduce profits. I know it's counter intuitive but there have been case of increasing prices means increased sales, as it is perceived as higher quality.

For example it might be easier to sell a painting at $2,000 than $200. Perception often outweighs reality.

A meal that costs $200 will almost always be considered much better quality than $20, even if it's literally the same food.

 
 
 
 


djtOtago
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  #2576505 30-Sep-2020 13:23
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As I see it. The main issue is not the pay rate, It is, are you willing to leave your nice comfortable house, your partner and family, in your nice Auckland suburb behind, to move to Central Otago to live in a caravan, camping ground or backpackers accommodation for just 4 - 8 weeks of work.


wellygary
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  #2576507 30-Sep-2020 13:25
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kingdragonfly: Perhaps if it's advertised as "union made" or some other form of employee friendly company, it may be a win-win situation.

 

The problem is that the growers have to negotiate via the supermarket duopoly to reach the majority of their customers, and the supermarkets will play growers off against each other ( and potential imports)....


wellygary
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  #2576512 30-Sep-2020 13:32
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But back to COVID ,

 

No new community cases today, (for the 5th day - last case was someone self isolating on 25th September )

 

SO now 44 total active cases ( 30 in MIQ, 14 in the community)

 

https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/media-releases/1-new-case-covid-19-20

 

On the active side, there were 12 recoveries  all in the community and connected to the AKL sub cluster, taking that down to only 8 active cases, 6 remain that are connected to the "long incubation" - but all close contacts have been traced and tested negative....

 

So, its is very possible that the Auckland sub cluster could be down to 2 or 3 active cases or even 1 by the review on the 5th .....

 

The drums on T/Tasman bubble continue to beat loader, so it might be worth cranking that thread back up.....

 

 

 

 


Batman

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  #2576520 30-Sep-2020 13:49
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mudguard:

This is getting a little off topic, but I would see the workers in Blenheim for harvest when I'm there for work and often thought (pre-covid), should your business exist if it essentially relies on imported labour at what has been pointed out, likely under the minimum wage?


Should pickers be paid $50 per hour instead, maybe the average bottle of wine in NZ should cost $100 if that's what is required to pick the fruit. It's not really like those who work at ski-fields and go winter to winter where they can work almost year round. 


What should the true cost of these products be?



Well you should watch the videos on wine experts blind tasting wine. Spoiler alert - the cheaper the better. Now whether those videos are staged I don't know.




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


Senecio
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  #2576695 30-Sep-2020 18:53
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djtOtago:

 

As I see it. The main issue is not the pay rate, It is, are you willing to leave your nice comfortable house, your partner and family, in your nice Auckland suburb behind, to move to Central Otago to live in a caravan, camping ground or backpackers accommodation for just 4 - 8 weeks of work.

 

 

Family aside, Plenty of people do exactly that. They move with the seasons in a caravan or mobile home working 1-8 weeks at a time with a 2-3 week break in between. Not for me, but others like that lifestyle.


mattwnz
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  #2576697 30-Sep-2020 19:03
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Senecio:

 

frankv:

 

 

 

Well, no. The other way is to improve the pay and conditions until they are attractive to NZ workers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you improve the pay and conditions so as to attract NZ workers, then NZ consumers won't be able to afford the finished product.

 

 

 

 

Nzers often get the seconds, and the  export quality food is often sent offshore. Also depends on how much profit the owners get , as the pickers are just one of the many expenses businesses have. As is all the other costs associated with the business, such as compliance costs, equipment etc.

 

We are allowing house prices to rise approx 10% a year but wages are not increasing anywhere nears as much, so anyone without a house is going backwards. If we can't even pay pickers a reasonable wage that allows them to live comfortably  in NZ, we have a problem. I am not even against using prisoners etc to pick fruit, but for some reason some people see that as wrong.


mattwnz
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  #2576699 30-Sep-2020 19:06
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wellygary:

 

But back to COVID ,

 

No new community cases today, (for the 5th day - last case was someone self isolating on 25th September )

 

SO now 44 total active cases ( 30 in MIQ, 14 in the community)

 

https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/media-releases/1-new-case-covid-19-20

 

On the active side, there were 12 recoveries  all in the community and connected to the AKL sub cluster, taking that down to only 8 active cases, 6 remain that are connected to the "long incubation" - but all close contacts have been traced and tested negative....

 

So, its is very possible that the Auckland sub cluster could be down to 2 or 3 active cases or even 1 by the review on the 5th .....

 

The drums on T/Tasman bubble continue to beat loader, so it might be worth cranking that thread back up.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still less that 5000 tests, and that is during the week when numbers should have increased. We still don' t know how much testing is occurring in the community, as a bulk of that 5000 could be the testing at the border with workers and incoming people. Those testing numbers have increased since the criticism of the lack of border testing.  We are still at risk of another level 3 lockdown if we get a case popping up that can't be linked back, and it may have a head start on us again, as occurred with the last lockdown.


DS248
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  #2576883 30-Sep-2020 23:26
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wellygary:

 

But back to COVID ,

 

...

 

The drums on T/Tasman bubble continue to beat loader, so it might be worth cranking that thread back up.....

 

 

 

 

Vic, single digits or low-mid teens for the last week

 

NSW, one local case (unknown source?) in last week (5 days ago)

 

QLD, about 11 days since last local case, and 4 weeks since last unknown source case

 

WA, one local case (known source) in last 5+ weeks, 3+ months since last unknown source case

 

Eliminated elsewhere in AU 

 

 

 

So Vic aside, AU territories either similar to NZ (NSW) or better.  

 

'Local hotspot' concept for TT bubble does not seem unreasonable in the reasonably near term, provided contact tracing and other systems are at least in sync.   

 

 


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