12 Aug 2004

New Zealand labour shortage seen as opportunity for Tonga

4:22 pm on 12 August 2004

Tonga's pro-democracy movement says a shortage of workers in New Zealand could be an opportunity for Tonga.

A movement spokesperson, Dr Fred Sevele, says he is monitoring the employment situation in New Zealand, and there are some industries struggling to find workers.

He says Tongans could meet the shortfall.

"There is certainly a shortage, from all reports, of workers particularly out in the farms and particularly at harvesting time. Which is something I think Tongans can fill, in those periods, under the temporary work scheme. Ok, that was abused in the past, but I think it can be revisited to tighten up the whole scheme. And that will benefit both us here in Tonga, and those Tongans that might come over, and also the New Zealand farming industry."

Tonga's pro-democracy spokesperson, Fred Sevele.