26 Jun 2013

Samoan MP says NZ needs to do more to help migrants

6:46 pm on 26 June 2013

A Samoan MP says the New Zealand government should be doing more to help Samoan migrants on the quota scheme to find jobs.

The Associate Minister of Labour Muagututagata Peter Ah Him says Samoans applying under the quota ballot system face long delays and large costs and by the time they arrive, job prospects have evaporated.

New Zealand boosted the quota this year to 1350, but only accepted 536 of the 6300 applicants.

The Pacific community unemployment rate, over 15 per cent, is more than double the New Zealand national level.

Speaking while on a personal trip to New Zealand, Muagututagata says under the Treaty of Friendship between the two countries, New Zealand should do more to ensure Samoans who arrive under the quota system have realistic job prospects.

"You pick out your number from the lottery and then you're on your own. You run around and say I'm going on a quota, but where the hell am I going to find a job? I just want to see a bit of help, assistance, from this part, from this end."

Muagututagata Peter Ah Him.