28 Oct 2010

Samoa urges NZ-bound fruit pickers to behave

2:35 pm on 28 October 2010

Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaeapa Sailele Malielegaoi, says bad and illegal behaviour is threatening the opportunity for seasonal work in New Zealand.

Tuilaepa was speaking to the latest group of fruit pickers to go to New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.

He warned the group against breaking employment contracts by returning home early, sexual misconduct, drunk behaviour and choosing to remain in New Zealand illegally once their visas had expired.

Tuilaepa was also scathing of relatives in New Zealand who persuade seasonal workers not to return home and to stay illegally in order to exploit them.

He says workers should return home and apply properly for residency in New Zealand.

Tuilaepa appealed to the workers not to give the seasonal work scheme and Samoa a bad name, saying continuous problems could cause New Zealand to pull the plug.

The scheme reportedly earned the Samoa economy more than four million US dollars last year.