Samoans could be brought into Christchurch to aid the city’s rebuild following top-level talks between the Samoan and New Zealand Prime Ministers.
At a press conference on Thursday New Zealand Prime Minster, John Key, said he and Samoan Prime minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi had discussed the possibility of expanding the existing Recognised Seasonal Employer Strategy, which enables Samoans to access seasonal horticulture and viticulture work, to include trades. “And that’s a possibility in Christchurch,” according to Key.
Earlier in a speech to mark the 5oth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Samoa and New Zealand Key said Samoans are making a rich and important contribution to the fabric of New Zealand . “The arts and culture of Samoan New Zealanders have enriched New Zealand, and helped form part of our national identity.”
Key said “Many of New Zealand’s national and international achievements reflect the contributions of highly talented Samoans – whether in arts, literature, sport, film-making, music, business, or a host of other areas. Those success stories are as much Samoan as New Zealand.”
“This is reflected in the delegation travelling with me. We have political leaders, church leaders, sports heroes, business people and academics. These are all prominent and proud representatives of Samoan New Zealand communities,” he said.