15 Jul 2008

Tension in Marlborough as seasonal workers arrive

11:09 am on 15 July 2008

has almost doubled with the new arrivals.

People in the Marlborough township of Seddon say Pacific Islanders working there should be getting more support to adjust to a different lifestyle.

The population has swelled by half by people arriving in New Zealand to work in a new Government scheme.

Under the Government Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, approved contractors are recruiting up to 5000 people from the islands.

In the last few weeks, about 250 Pacific Island workers have arrived in Seddon - normal population 500.

Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman has asked for a study on the social impact of the influx.

There are reports of tensions in the township and complaints about a lack of support to help the workers assimilate.