31 May 2005

Ni-Vanuatu warned about seasonal farm work offers in NZ, Australia

10:30 am on 31 May 2005

The New Zealand and Australian High Commissions in Vanuatu want to end a scam in which seasonal farm work was being offered, for a fee, in both countries.

New Zealand High Commissioner, Paul Willis, says they heard that people in Santo and Port Vila were signing up for the work opportunities, despite neither country providing visas for seasonal agricultural labour schemes.

Mr Willis says they wanted to nip it in the bud.

"We had enough information to know that if we didn't act quickly, the chances were that a lot of people would pay over their 5000 vatu, which is their average weekly wage here, turn up at our office, and we've have to tell them they've been ripped off. So it was better to let the public know this scam was operating."