Title: The Experiences of the Solomon Islands Seasonal Workers under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme in New Zealand
Supervisor: Dr.Alumita Durutalo
Abstract: “Oketa chalens na osem, pipol lo dea oketa laef stael differen, espeseli na swea. Ani smol samting swea.Iumi wea garem kastom,kaen ia barava nogud lo iumi. Sapos iu no doim eniting gud oketa swea lo iu nao, so hem na osem mi faesim. Hem nogud tumas lo mi taem mi herem oketa usim nem blo God mi fil nogud tumas. Nara samting moa,mifala waka anda nit presa. Mifala bae no rest, taem,taem, everiting mas in taem. Osem gogo mifala big woman gogo osem smol pikinini tu becos mifala waka anda presa. Ma samting mi saenem na ia. Osem sapos oketa lelebet meanim wei blo iumi bae gud(9WW).”
(The challenges I have come across is that the lifestyle is different. Especially the way swearing and blasphemy are a common everyday speech. Not only that, we work under pressure. We don’t rest for long. We are expected to do things on time. This makes us feel as if we are kids. If only they understood us)
This study focuses on e focus the experiences of the Solomon Islands seasonal migrant workers in New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme. This scheme enables low-skilled seasonal migrant workers, to work temporarily in New Zealand’s horticulture and viticulture industries for a period of three to seven months each year. Interviews were conducted in two different locations- Wairarapa, New Zealand and Honiara- Solomon Islands. Qualitative research methods were used in gathering primary and secondary information. The findings of the research suggest that Solomon Islanders have benefited from participating in the scheme in ways they expressed as in building of permanent homes, advanced payment of school fees and undertaking of small businesses.
This study focused on extending the boundaries of earlier research, such as that done on Ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers in New Zealand, by having an in-depth focus on the social experiences of the Solomon Islands seasonal workers in New Zealand. What were the social experiences of the Solomon Islands seasonal workers and what could be done to improve employer and employee relations through policies to enable the benefit of all, the employers, employees and the countries involved.