The long overdue resumption of the Pacific Access Category and Samoan Quota must be followed by an overhaul of the Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSE) scheme, says the Green Party.
“Our immigration settings must reflect the fact that we are part of a family of Pacific nations. This means building a relationship based on fairness and mutual wellbeing,” says Green spokesperson for Pacific Peoples Teanau Tuiono.
The Government has confirmed that it intends to reopen the Pacific Access Category and Samoan Quota later this year. But that does not go far enough.
“The RSE scheme needs to be overhauled to put the rights of workers at the heart, because we know workers are being exploited, mistreated and underpaid, as told to a Parliament select committee in May,” says Green spokesperson for immigration Ricardo Menéndez March.
“The parent category visa also needs to be reopened, and its settings changed so it isn’t only for high income earners.
“Migrants from the Pacific and elsewhere who come to New Zealand and care for our elderly, build our infrastructure and homes, and process our food deserve to be recognised and supported, not kicked out if their employers decide they’re no longer useful.
“Pacific RSE workers should have a pathway to residency to ensure they can genuinely put down roots in Aotearoa with their communities beyond a random ballot,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.