20 May 2009

Samoan RSE recruits to prove taro planting skills

3:18 pm on 20 May 2009

A Samoan village's requirement that taro be planted before people go away to work in New Zealand orchards may be applied in more districts.

A matai in Poutasi village in Falealili says workers recruited for New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme have to first plant 5,000 taro plants before joining the programme.

A recruiter, Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale, says it's a good way to ensure there's no shortage of food for local families, and also to gauge whether workers are suitable for the overseas scheme.

"Your taking what we refer to in Samoa the malosi o le nu'u the muscle as it were out of the village which would undermine the structures as the untitled men are the ones who would be the ones who tend to be the ones to do the requirement of the chiefs when they meet, each family and their requirements, church, youth groups and so on. Those concerns were what prompted me to bring in this requirement that they must plant a minimum of 5,000 taro."

Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale.