NZ Kiwifruit Growers Industry chief executive Colin Bond says plans to reopen New Zealand’s border come too late for this kiwifruit season. The reopening of the border to vaccinated travellers on February 27 prioritises returning New Zealanders and brings forward the reopening of key visa categories in just over five weeks’ time. Horticulture farmers rely on workers here on a visitors’ tourist visa or via the RSE scheme to help with the job. This has been a problem since the border closed in 2020. Colin Bond says the announcement is important in its support of New Zealand’s post-Covid economic recovery, but working holiday and skilled migrants entering the country in the coming months will be too late for the fruit harvest this season. The opened border will also have limited benefit for the wine grape and apple harvests that are about to get under way.