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Vanuatu celebrates five years of RSE participation

MEDIA RELEASE

23 APRIL 2012

Vanuatu celebrates five years of RSE participation

New Zealand's Department of Labour has congratulated the Vanuatu Government on reaching its fifth year of participation in New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme.

The New Zealand High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Bill Dobbie, will join Vanuatu government, RSE officials and RSE workers in celebrating the anniversary at a function near the Vanuatu Parliament in Port Vila today.

In a congratulatory message, the Department of Labour's National Manager, Recognised Seasonal Employment, Emily Fabling, said it is a milestone that demonstrates both countries' commitment to the RSE scheme and further strengthens New Zealand's relationship with Vanuatu.

Vanuatu was one of the five Pacific nations that joined the scheme when it was introduced in 2007 to enable New Zealand's horticulture and viticulture industries to recruit seasonal labour offshore, with a focus on the Pacific.

"Vanuatu has always been one of our biggest RSE contributors, with nearly 1700 currently in New Zealand and more than 2300 having worked in New Zealand in the past year," Ms Fabling says.

More than 40 RSE employers currently recruit from Vanuatu with others beginning the process.

Ms Fabling said New Zealand works closely with the Vanuatu Labour Department to enhance RSE processes, with a formal memorandum of understanding in place setting out each country's commitment to achieving this.

"RSE has been an absolutely wonderful scheme for our horticulture and viticulture industries, in terms of ensuring they have the labour force they need at specific times of the year. And of course we are delighted at the benefits the scheme brings to Vanuatu and other Pacific nations.

"RSE has been a powerful development tool for participating households, with RSE income Vanuatu's second biggest foreign exchange earner after tourism. Everyone wins and New Zealand looks forward to many more years of such excellence and positive results."

In her letter to Vanuatu Commissioner of Labour Lionel Kaluat and his team, Ms Fabling said one of New Zealand's major RSE employers had noted that ni-Vanuatu workers' productivity had increased each year.

ENDS

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