Labour shortage in Mackenzie Basin due to mis-education – farmer

Rural Exchange 22/09/2018
Photo: File.

A Mackenzie Basin farmer says employee numbers have been in the decline for years, and such a labour shortage needs to be addressed.

Paddy Boyd, manager of Haldon Station in the Mackenzie Basin, says employee numbers started to decline five or six years ago.

"I think it goes right back to the education stage," Mr Boyd said.

He told RadioLIVE that five or six years ago, many workers were discouraged from entering the primary sector because “there’s no future in agriculture”.

The reality is that there is a huge future for the rural sector, but Mr Boyd says the right message just needs to get out there.

"Let people know, explain to them, show them that there is an opportunity out there."

Mr Boyd also believes industry groups are “absolutely not” doing enough to help with the shortage either.

For the past few years, the National Party agricultural spokesperson Nathan Guy has said the value of New Zealand's primary sector exports needs to double by 2025.

To get there, Mr Guy estimated that rural New Zealand would need 50,000 additional workers.

Listen to the full interview with Paddy Boyd above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.