7 Feb 2015

Tuvalu hopes to negotiate expansion of RSE

5:20 pm on 7 February 2015

Tuvalu's foreign minister says he hopes to begin negotiating an expansion of New Zealand's seasonal employer scheme to include trades sometime this year.

Tuvalu's Foreign Minister Taukelina Finikaso

Tuvalu's Foreign Minister Taukelina Finikaso Photo: RNZI / Jamie Tahana

Currently the scheme allows people from some Pacific Islands to pick fruit in New Zealand, but Taukelina Finikaso says he wants the scheme expanded to trades that will provide people with skills to take back to Tuvalu.

Mr Finikaso says while the scheme is popular in Tuvalu, it would be good for people to gain skills and qualifications in things such as building or carpentry.

"In this I mean trades that these young men and young women can take back to Tuvalu and it'll be very useful for their lives in Tuvalu, because as you know we don't have horticulture in Tuvalu like strawberries and those sorts of things."

Taukelina Finikaso says he has raised the idea with New Zealand's foreign and immigration ministers, who have put forward the idea of Tuvaluans joining the Christchurch rebuild.