13 Aug 2010

Remittances from RSE work making a difference in Vanuatu, says NZ contractor

3:27 pm on 13 August 2010

A New Zealand contractor involved in the Recognised Seasonal Employer or RSE scheme says remittances from ni-Vanuatu workers are making a difference in their home communities.

Two and half thousand ni-Vanuatu take part in the scheme each year and are reported to be taking home, on average, five thousand US dollars.

As well as workers from Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Solomon Islands, the Hawkes Bay-based fruit grower and exporter Mr Apple employs 70 ni-Vanuatu.

Mr Apple's labour manager, Alistair Jamieson, says it's been enlightening to see how ni-Vanuatu workers are spending their money.

"Projects that are going on in villages where there's collective money coming together to put together, for example, irrigation schemes or electricity. But most importantly you see it going back into their own homes. You can almost see where the RSE workers have come from in the villages because they have the brick homes springing up besides the thatched homes. So yes you can certainly see the benefits coming back here."

Alistair Jamieson