NZ Seasonal workers scheme is human trafficking

Last month US Human Trafficking Ambassador Luis CdeBaca came to New Zealand with a delegation to talk with government officials, unions and lobby groups.

No statement followed, but sources say the Americans were alarmed at a lack of recognition of trafficking in New Zealand.

One of the issues the Americans are investigating is the  seasonal workers’ scheme which allows people from Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands to do seasonal work in New Zealand.

“The burden of illegal costs and debts on these labourers in the source country, often with the support of labour agencies and employers in the destination country, can contribute to a situation of debt bondage,” a source said.

“Are we really surprised that the great United States of America is now going out of its way to sabotage the Pacific Islands’ seasonal worker scheme with New Zealand?” says Tupuola Terry Tavita in Savali. “A scheme that has seen thousands of Pacific Islanders, legally, working on New Zealand farms on short-term contracts.

‘The irony is, Washington’s selfish motives appear to have nothing to do with the Pacific Islands and everything to do with the murky world of international trade with New Zealand. And serving the U.S best interests.”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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