1 Oct 2008

Former PNG leader calls for New Zealand to extend seasonal labour scheme

2:59 pm on 1 October 2008

Former Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, is calling on New Zealand to extend its seasonal labour scheme to his country.

PNG is included in a new trial scheme about to be launched by Australia, but is not one of the six countries to so far have priority status under New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.

Sir Rabbie, speaking during Wellington's symposium on New Zealand's relations with Melanesia, says the impact of money sent home by seasonal workers can be significant, but he also sees huge benefits from the skills gained, and the exposure to a different culture.

"Any opportunity to help expose the younger generation especially, that look, there are actually different things out there that work differently from our own situation and that things can actually work better here if we are exposed to that. Those are the sorts of benefits that we cann gain out of this on a mutual basis."