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Picking cherries

NZIER Picking cherries 800

Julie Fry

Peter Wilson

Date published

20 April 2021

This report looks at the evidence of the effects of migration policy on New Zealand’s top "frontier" firms.

The report outlines the evidence on the impacts of seasonal, temporary migrant workers, and examines the short- and long-run impacts of low-cost/low-skill temporary migrant labour on the New Zealand economy.

NZIER reviewed literature from New Zealand and other developed countries, with a particular focus on the horticulture sector. The literature holds few ‘rules of thumb’ when it comes to the impacts of immigration.

Convenient conclusions from overseas literature should be viewed with caution, rather than lifted and applied wholesale to New Zealand. Context matters when it comes to migration.

Temporary immigration can provide net benefits to migrants and their host communities, provided policy is developed having regard to local conditions and kept under ongoing review. 

The Productivity Commission commissioned NZIER to produce this report. It is one of a number of research inputs into the Commission's inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand’s frontier firms.


Picking cherries - Evidence on the effects of temporary and seasonal migrants on the New Zealand economy 


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