Samoan workers could help in Chch rebuild
Thu, 02 Aug 2012 5:26a.m.
By Laura McQuillan
Samoan workers could be brought into Christchurch to aid the city's rebuild following top-level talks by the two countries' leaders.
Prime Minister John Key and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi met in Apia on Wednesday, and discussed a potential expansion of the Recognised Seasonal Employer Strategy, which enables Samoans to access seasonal horticulture and viticulture work in New Zealand.
The leaders discussed "whether there might be opportunities to expand the scheme on a limited basis for trades, and that's a possibility in Christchurch", Mr Key told media.
Mr Tuilaepa said he hopes Samoan tradespeople, including many who have qualifications from Australia, could gain experience in New Zealand before returning home "to provide a better service to our people".
"I'm talking about plumbers, electricians, welders ... So far I have been informed that New Zealand is looking at reconstruction needs in Christchurch and trying to balance it up with the needs there and also how it is met, because it's no use bringing people in and to not have the opportunities available to them, so they are still looking at that possibility."
However, Mr Tuilaepa says his government also has a role in lining up employers willing to take on workers under the scheme.
"Last year after the Commonwealth [Heads of Government] Meeting in Perth, I flew down to Nelson and met up with several employers then, and arising out from those meetings, about 50 more people were added on."
He says the New Zealand government needs to ensure workers participating in the scheme have their immigration papers processed without unnecessary delays.
Mr Key visited Samoa to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of a Treaty of Friendship between the two countries - the only such treaty New Zealand has.
Its signing followed Samoa's independence in 1962 after 48 years of administration by the New Zealand Government.
Mr Key also announced a gift of $5 million to pay for Samoan secondary students' school fees for up to five years.
Only about 70 percent of students attend school, with the cost a barrier to many parents.
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4/08/2012 12:21:17 p.m.
This is insane What is John Key Trying to play at He thinks our people will fall for his scheme, bugger off man Your not wanted there, You have done enough damage to NZ people now you want to ruin the innocent people by involving the prime minister Of Samoa, Which is also the same as you. He doesn't worry about the people of Samoa he only involve when money is in his pocket, and that's exactly what is happen. Get the people to come and work for Christchurch for a cheaper rate, and what wrong with the New Zealander, because they are not stupid enough to be a slave for a cheaper rate.
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