7 Aug 2015

NZ unions asked to consider RSE expansion

9:36 am on 7 August 2015

The Prime Minister of Samoa is calling on New Zealand unions to consider the benefits of expanding New Zealand's RSE scheme to areas outside of horticulture.

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has reiterated his call for an extension of New Zealand's RSE scheme to areas such as construction, while speaking at the Pip Fruit Industry conference in Wellington on Thursday.

Tuilaepa says Samoa is keen to supply tradesmen to help New Zealand with its large large scale infrastructure projects such as the Christchurch rebuild.

He says while he respects the position taken by unions in New Zealand he believes Pacific Islanders can help fill labour gaps in the industry.

"I am sympathetic with the concerns of the union. But at the same time we are in the real world, that what they think about as being the ideal does not always happen. The usual adage you can take a horse to the river to drink and it may refuse to drink."