The lucrative and rapidly expanding apiculture industry wants more Kiwis to become beekeepers.

Industry peak body Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ) is working to reduce the industry’s reliance on skilled migrant labour, and encourage Kiwis into the industry.

But without locally trained apiarists there remains a need to import skills from offshore.  APiNZ is working closely with Immigration New Zealand (INZ – part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment) to carefully manage this need, and the industry’s labour force planning over time.

“Our industry is expanding rapidly. World markets can’t get enough of our honeys, especially Manuka, and demand for pollination services continues to increase.  The beekeeping and honey products sector is very buoyant at the moment,” ApiNZ chief executive, Daniel Paul, said.

“But we have a labour shortage.  At the moment we are relying on skilled migrant labour, but we really want more Kiwis to join the industry so they can take advantage of the opportunities the industry offers.”

The intentions of both ApiNZ and INZ will be to ‘develop, implement and maintain a plan’ that will see more New Zealanders take up apiculture jobs as the industry develops.

INZ spokesperson, Steve McGill, said the agreement is consistent with the Ministry’s commitment to shaping and delivering a strong economy.

“We see our support for the industry’s longer term workforce planning as a service that underpins the growth and prosperity of the apiculture industry and the wider New Zealand economy.”

Mr Paul said apiculture contributes over $5 billion a year to NZ Inc’s bottom line.  Honey exports are worth nearly $300 million a year and there is scope to increase that to over a $1 billion per year.

“There are plenty of opportunities for New Zealanders to train and take up jobs in the apiculture sector and those opportunities will only increase as our industry expands,” Mr Paul said.

For more information contact:
ApiNZ – Daniel Paul (021) 400-993
Immigration NZ – Marc Piercey (04) 896 5181