14 Mar 2018

Fiji considers liaison for Aust/NZ seasonal workers

4:10 pm on 14 March 2018

Fiji's Employment Minister, Jone Usamate, says a major challenges for Fijian seasonal workers in Australia and New Zealand is the influence from the Fijian diaspora in both countries.

Fiji Minister of Employment Jone Usamate

Fiji Minister of Employment Jone Usamate Photo: supplied

The Fiji Times reported Mr Usamate telling parliament the ministry was considering setting up liaison officers in both countries to help the workers.

He said sometimes advice given to the workers by members of the diaspora was incorrect, and could lead to workers breaking employment contracts and getting into unnecessary trouble, which negatively affected Fiji's reputation.

Mr Usamate confirmed one group of Fijian workers was convinced by a member of the diaspora in New Zealand last year to go to Auckland from Hastings and seek to extend their stay in New Zealand.

The group each paid $US580 dollars to a lawyer who was unable to extend their visas.

This prompted the Fiji government to ban the village from taking part in the seasonal work schemes for four years.

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