19 Feb 2008

Ni-Vanuatu workers employed under RSE scheme set to increase

12:02 pm on 19 February 2008

The number of ni-Vanuatu workers employed in New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme is set to increase significantly.

This was indicated by New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark yesterday following a meeting with her visiting Vanuatu counterpart Ham Lini in Wellington.

More than 300 Ni-Vanuatu workers are currently employed in New Zealand under the RSE scheme, mostly in Central Otago and Hawke's Bay.

Miss Clark indicated these numbers could increase to as high as one thousand as the New Zealand growing season continues.

"The significance of this for Vanuatu is that the remittances from the workers who are coming to New Zealand stand to be probably the second largest source of foreign exchange earnings for Vanuatu after its tourism industry so it is very, very significant."