6 Jul 2020

Mental health woes for Pacific seasonal workers stranded in NZ

From , 6:01 am on 6 July 2020

Pacific Islander seasonal workers stuck in New Zealand's Hawke's Bay region duie to the pandemic are suffering from depression and anxiety because they don't know when they can return home.

More than 15-hundred workers from the Pacific who were due to return home in May are still in the region, as their governments worry they may bring the virus home.

Uiti Lagavale, who is one of 117 Samoan employees of Johnny Appleseed in Hastings, spoke to Anusha Bradley about their struggles being stranded far from home.

He says he's travelled to new Zealand to work in the recognised seasonal Employer scheme for the past six, but this is his first winter here.

Pacific Islander diong seasonal work under the RSE scheme in Hawke's Bay.

Pacific Islander diong seasonal work under the RSE scheme in Hawke's Bay. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades