Tongan officials say they expect about 5,000 people to apply for seasonal work in New Zealand under a new scheme to be introduced.
The ministry of labour has told the news website Matangitonga that village committees throughout Tongatapu, Vava'u and Ha'apai have completed the pre-selection process, with applications to be in by Friday.
It says the names of the applicants will be entered into a database in preparation for the recruitment process by the New Zealand employers.
Matangitonga says the Tongan and New Zealand governments will sign the Inter Government Understanding for the work scheme next week.
Once the scheme has been launched, New Zealand employers may go to Tonga to recruit their workers, with the first ones to be employed from late May.