29 Jun 2006

Improved labour mobility among Pacific Islands countries advocated

5:46 am on 29 June 2006

A delegate to a conference on Pacific labour issues, starting in Wellington today, would like to see restrictions lifted to increased mobility of labour among the island countries.

The conference, organised by the Pacific Co-operation Foundation, is expected to focus on the call for New Zealand and Australia to allow in more Pacific Islanders on short term work permits.

PNG businessman Richard Kassman says this would help people broaden their knowledge, but being able to move into other markets in the island countries would be more beneficial.

He says Papua New Guineans, for instance, would gain from exposure to the tourism industry in Fiji.

"We can really learn a lot from Fiji and from the tourists that visit Fiji. And bring those skills bck home again. So I think I would like us to have a discussion at this conference about whether people agree with my ideas on that and how we can formalise that through ease of visas and work permits. You know go through that quagmire fo bureaucracy."