24 Apr 2017

Tongan RSE workers sent home after absconding

From , 5:04 am on 24 April 2017

Two more Tongan workers have been sent home from their Recognised Seasonal Employers, triggering calls for better vetting for the scheme.

It's not the first time Tongan workers have absconded from their RSE appointments but the most recent also disappeared with a company vehicle and were eventually found hundreds of kilometres away in Auckland.

In February Tonga's government also ordered eight workers to return home for excessive alcohol consumption.

The Chair of the Tongan Advisory Council, Melino Maka, told Koro Vaka'uta there needs to be better vetting of potential RSE workers.

Pacific Islands workers have been described as invaluable to New Zealand's horticulture and viticulture industries.

Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades