Are Kiwis too lazy to pick kiwifruit?

Drive 08/05/2018

The Kiwifruit industry in the Bay of Plenty is facing a crisis.

They are 1200 workers short as fruit picking season kicks off.

The issue is magnified by the lack of interest from local workers to fill the void meaning migrant workers have to be used, but the Government wants to cut back on immigration numbers.

Stuart Weston, managing director for Apata - a kiwifruit packhouse - joined Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen on Drive to talk about this issue and why local workers can’t fill the gap.

Mr Weston says it's a difficult issue.

"It's not as simple as the public might think."

"If we are wanting to transition people back into the workforce [a kiwifruit packhouse] is a really, really bad way of doing it," he explained. "And the statistics support that."

He told RadioLIVE that the company has even tried to raise wages in the past but it hasn't worked.

"All that happens is the same staff just move around the different facilities in the Bay of Plenty.

Listen to the full interview with Stuart Weston above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.