PM assures Samoan RSE workers in New Zealand are safe

Samoa’s Prime Minister has assured the nation that about 80 seasonal workers affected by Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand have been accounted for.

In her weekly press conference Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said there are no casualties.

A number of farms and orchards where the Samoan workers are employed reportedly suffered severe flooding over the last weekend.

Savali newspaper reports Government agencies which include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade complemented by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour have seen been put on alert monitoring the aftermath of the cyclone.

A significant number of Samoan workers are in the Hawkes Bay region which was heavily impacted.

Responding to media inquiries, Prime Minister Fiame noted that whether the RSE workers will be evacuated home is a question which is subject to a review with their New Zealand employers due to contractual obligations between the Samoan RSE workers and their bosses.

“Rest assured, the safety of our workers is utmost,” she added.

In her remarks, Fiame said reports from Samoa’s designated Liaison Officer in New Zealand in liaison with the New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), confirmed that support and coordinated efforts from various agencies, local Iwi/Marae and especially the Pacific Community has been overwhelming in ensuring RSE workers from Samoa, and from the Pacific were safely evacuated, and moved to nearby relief centres.

The RSE workers are confirmed to have now access warm beds/accommodation, and food and water supplies.

Fiame has urged everyone especially the families of the Samoan seasonal workers in New Zealand to remain calm, as the government is working closely with the government of New Zealand to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the RSE workers.


Photo Samoa Govt Media