14 May 2009

New Zealand seasonal employment scheme strongly supported despite blacklist of 300

7:52 pm on 14 May 2009

New Zealand's seasonal employment scheme has won strong support from both workers and growers despite the blacklisting of some workers due to poor work performance and criminal behaviour.

Vanuatu contributes half of the five thousand workers eligible for the scheme.

Three hundred workers are on a blacklist, unable to return to New Zealand for at least five years.

New Zealand's High Commissioner in Vanuatu, Jeff Langley, says the scheme has been working well overall and he hopes it will stay strong.

"We may not see the same sort of growth in numbers from Vanuatu or even across the Pacific in the next year or two we've seen in the first couple of years but we expect the scheme will still meet a need down in New Zealand and as long as it meets that need both there and from the island communities in terms of interest in picking it up then the future of the scheme I think looks pretty good."

Jeff langley says the money earned in New Zealand boosts Vanuatu's economy and improves living conditions in rural communties.