The construction of a multimillion-dollar purpose-built accommodation facility for seasonal workers is well underway at Irongate, just south of Hastings.
New Zealand’s largest organic grower, Bostock New Zealand is building the state-of-the art accommodation, which will house up to 160 overseas workers and move them out of older orchard houses and urban properties.
Bostock New Zealand Owner John Bostock says the accommodation has been specifically designed so it has an open, community feel and replicates many home comforts from the Pacific Islands.
“We’re very excited about this purpose-built facility, which will ensure our seasonal workers feel at home here in Hawke’s Bay. There will be volleyball courts, beautiful gardens, a 400 square metre recreation hall which has pool tables, table tennis tables and plenty of entertainment areas to relax after a busy day out in the fields.”
Mr Bostock says a lot of research has gone into creating the perfect design, including gathering feedback from many of Bostock New Zealand’s seasonal workers.
“It’s important that we build something that is fit for purpose. So the accommodation will have a village style dining and cooking layout with modern facilities and patio areas, which will create a fantastic community feel and central meeting area for dining. There is also be air conditioning and heating throughout the property,” says Mr Bostock.
Twenty-four hour support will be provided by two facility managers who will be based on site.
The property will be beautifully landscaped with significant tree planting taking place in the winter 2020.
“We are also putting in an extremely fast fibre internet system, so our team can easily connect with their families back home.”
Mr Bostock says the project reflects the success of the RSE scheme in Hawke’s Bay and the opportunities it creates for New Zealanders.
“We are making a significant investment into the long-term sustainability of the RSE scheme. This is a fantastic programme which allows us to harvest our crops on time and create full time jobs for New Zealanders. It’s the best form of aid that we can give.”
The new development also frees up social housing for New Zealanders.
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says it is fantastic to see growers like Bostock New Zealand committing significant investment to house and care for our RSE workers.
“The success of our horticultural sector relies on the hard-working RSE workers and without them, the beautiful fruit we grow in Hastings wouldn’t get picked.
“I congratulate Bostock New Zealand for taking this step and doing their part to both support their workers as well as help with the housing crisis in our community.”
The accommodation is planned to be ready and open in February for the beginning of the apple harvest.