New Zealand's short term labour scheme for Pacific Islanders has been launched.
Under the recognised seasonal employment scheme up to five thousand people could come to New Zealand for short periods to work in viticulture and horticulture.
The minister of social development and employment, David Benson Pope says the scheme is an initiative of those sectors but Pacific states and government will also have vital roles to play in ensuring its success.
The immigration minister David Cunliffe says the policy is backed by stringent rules to protect both Pacific workers and the New Zealand's immigration framework.
He says employers can only recruit from the Pacific if they provide robust evidence of good workplace practices, the ability to pay market rates and a commitment to providing pastoral care for workers..
Mr Cunliffe says there will be zero tolerance of overstaying.
Last week the Tongan Advisory Council and other groups raised concerns about the process under which the scheme has been established and the lack of engagement by government officials with Pacific communities.