29 Mar 2004

NZ expert backs claims that indigenous Fijians face descrimination in tourism industry

7:17 am on 29 March 2004

A Pacific Island development specialist at New Zealand's Victoria University says indigenous Fijians are being discriminated against in their own tourism industry.

Vijay Naidu is supporting calls by unionists in Fiji for the Government to tighten up on work permits given to expatriate managers in the industry.

Fiji's National Union for Hospitality and Tourism workers says foreigners are depriving indigenous Fijians of work, and Mr Naidu agrees.

"I think for too long the workers of Fiji have been limited to the more menial types of positions. This has changed in some of the hotels, but what the union leader is saying is actually quite true, that there is not enough of it and I think government does have a role in it."

He says that some international hotel chains doubt the ability of locals and are unlikely to change without pressure from the Government.

Mr Naidu says it's time the Government developed policies to ensure indigenous people were were recruited into management positions.