New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE)

The Recognised Seasonal Employer or RSE is known as the New Zealand program that provides short term employment under the Labour Mobility Program. The term of employment under this program is 7 months maximum around the sector of Horticulture and Viticulture.

The Recognised Seasonal Employer started in 2007 with the Inter Agency Understanding and with the first group of 306 workers to the Horticulture and Viticulture in New Zealand.

There are two types of recruitment provided under the Seasonal Employment Act of 2007 (SEA no of 2007) and that is through (1) local Agents and (2) Direct Recruitment – where employer come to Vanuatu and directly involve in recruitment.


The Department of Labour (DoL) through its Employment Services Unit (ESU) has developed a sound and vibrant partnership with other stakeholders in order to effectively carried out its duty.

DoL ties solid partnership with the following stakeholders who are directly involved with RSE program:

  1. MFAT: The NZ government will assist the DOL in designing a Labour Mobility Training Unit (LMTU) to support the management and implementation arrangement of the Labour Mobility scheme. The objective of this work is to achieve better outcomes for ni-Vanuatu workers participating in the RSE scheme. It is proposed that the work focus on how a Labour Mobility Training Unit (LMTU) in Vanuatu could:
    1. Support recruitment and conduct the pre-departure training;
    2. Support workers with their planning and goal setting, savings and remittances;
    3. Provide opportunities for training and skill development to returning workers
    4. Follow up on their planning and goal setting on return to Vanuatu.


  1. V-Lab: We also collaborate with V-Lab on the Seasonal Workers Reintegration program. This program is to find workers with good business and innovative ideas and how to support them with their ideas. The support required will be around mentoring, coaching and financial support. This program was launched on 7 April 2021 and is targeting return seasonal workers to be able to invest their income in Businesses that can support and sustain their families in the long run. DFAT and MFAT have funded the program and is piloted in the province of Shefa. We are anticipating that the program will be decentralized to other provinces in the future once VLAB established their branches in those respective provinces.


  1. Ministry of Agriculture: DOL and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (“DARD”) have been working together to develop the Agriculture reintegration framework for return Seasonal Workers. The framework will look into how the DARD better supports our workers when they return back to Vanuatu. The Launching of this Framework is scheduled to happen on the 30th of April 2021 and it will be celebrated on the eve of Labour Day, an opportunity to commemorate the International Labour Day.

We have also engaged stakeholders and partners in the Pre-Departure Briefing to better prepare our workers prior to departure. There are the following:

  1. Department of Customs and inland Revenue
  2. Department of Biosecurity
  3. Department of Foreign Affairs
  4. ANZ Bank
  5. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD)

Eligibility requirements

Anyone wishes to apply for the Seasonal Workers Program can apply directly to the local approved agents and the requirements are as follow;

  • Must be 21 years or more
  • No medical condition – Fit and healthy and must pass medical check
  • Must have a valid Police Clearance

The contact details for the RSE agents can be downloaded here.