9 Oct 2013

Horticulture NZ says Samoan government too hard on workers

3:05 pm on 9 October 2013

The national horticulture body says very few of the Pacific Islands workers who come into the country for seasonal work get into trouble.

The Samoan government has banned people from seven of its villages from working in the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme which brings workers, mainly from the Pacific Islands, into New Zealand and Australia for seasonal work - especially fruit and vegetable harvesting.

Samoa's prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele says the country has a zero tolerance policy for people who put the scheme at risk and incidents of drunkedness and bad behaviour in New Zealand led to the ban.

But Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Peter Silcock says workers in the scheme are usually very well behaved and Samoa's taking a very hard line.