Seasonal Worker Programme

NZ employer hopes Samoa resumes participation in RSE programme

Samoa has put a temporary suspension on its people working in seasonal jobs in Australia and New Zealand until a review is presented to Cabinet.

Yummy Fruit general manager Paul Paynter said all of its people employed under the recognised seasonal employer scheme or RSE come from Samoa.

"We've been desperate now for labour for three years, since Covid, the absence of backpackers and basically full employment in New Zealand has meant really traumatic working conditions for a lot of our people and we were looking forward to having a smoother run this year."


Samoa to send about 600 seasonal workers to Australia

The programme is expected to recommence from mid-April to May 2021.

The workers will be the first cohorts to travel to Australia from Samoa since April 2020 in the wake of Covid-19, resulting in international travel restrictions and border closures.

A statement said the first few flights to Australia will include both new and returning workers, including those who planned to travel in the beginning of 2020 but their travel had been cancelled due to the border closures.

Australia lifting Pacific work scheme numbers

The assistant minister for international development and the Pacific, Anne Ruston, said under Australia's pledge to step up its relationship with Pacific nations it recognised that labour mobility was a key issue for them.

This was reflected in the 40 percent annual growth of the seasonal worker scheme, while a new Pacific labour scheme would also bring in 2000 workers over the next year, she said.

Samoan seasonal workers invest in future of family and country

A meeting on Pacific Labour Mobility held in Solomon Islands recently also heard that Samoan workers have contributed to the Samoan economy.

The meeting in Honiara gave Australian and Samoan officials the opportunity to work together to ensure Samoan workers can make the most of the opportunities in industries such as non-seasonal agriculture, tourism and aged care to gain valuable skills and income through the scheme’.