Cyclone:calls for govt to give Pasifika overstayers amnesty

From First Up, 5:34 am on 21 February 2023

You may remember the images of Tongan workers who were rescued from a rooftop in Hawke's Bay after posting a live stream on Facebook. These men came to New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme. But a Tongan community leader says the actual number of overseas workers needing financial help is unknown. This is because many of them are overstayers, and they are too scared they will be kicked out of the country if they come forward. Pakilau Manese Lua is the deputy chair of the Aotearoa Tongan Response Group and he is calling on the government to announce an amnesty for them. Our producer Mahvash Ikram spoke to him.