3 Dec 2007

Kiribati new source of employees under NZ's seasonal workers scheme

6:39 am on 3 December 2007

People travelled from throughout Kiribati to the capital, Tarawa, on Saturday, in the hope of getting one of 45 jobs being offered by a New Zealand contracting firm.

Fore Vintage Contracting is the first company to take advantage of New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer Project to recruit i-Kiribati workers.

In a Kiribati Government faciliated process, village councils from thoughout the nation nominated potential workers.

The employer estimates the 45 workers could return to Kiribati after nine months working on New Zealand vineyards with more than 600 thousand US dollars in total.

New Zealand Labour Department RSE scheme principal advisor, Michael Gibbs, says Kiribati will be the fourth country after Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga to send workers to New Zealand under the scheme.

"PLAY AUDIO: kiribati win win"

IN:......New Zealand sees it as a win win, both for the islands that are sending people to work in New Zealand and for the industry as well in that they are able to fill labour shortfalls where New Zealand citizens are either unable to fill those positions or there isn't enough people.

Mr Gibbs says the employer expects many of the workers to return to New Zealand on an annual basis to work in the country's vineyards.