We condemn threats on seasonal worker recruiters

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Recruitment in Solomon Islands. Photograph Rina Rarere, Pick Hawkes Bay
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REPORTS of threats from Solomon Islanders to seasonal worker recruiters from New Zealand is damaging our reputation.

Whilst the seasonal workers scheme has benefited Solomon Islanders, reports of intimidation and extortion attempts while the recruiters were in Honiara is just bad publicity.

The seasonal workers scheme has helped Solomon Islanders build new homes and changed lives. It has benefited individual families and contributed to the local economy by way of remittances.

Local workers who went to work in New Zealand or Australia have spoken highly of the benefit derived from this scheme.

The popularity of the scheme has led to locals competing for spaces to be recruited thus led to this alleged reports of intimidation and extortion.

We know money earned by our seasonal workers is lucrative and more than an ordinary public servant can earn in a month. This makes it attractive for Solomon Islanders to do what they do – even to the extent of threatening the recruiters.

Such claims might not be true, but who knows! Given the situation we are in, Solomon Islanders are desperate to earn money and may go to such extent of threatening recruiters. This is shameful to say the least.

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The alleged actions is tarnishing the good image of the seasonal worker scheme. It reflects badly on us as a recruiting ground for workers.

What has become of us? Are we that desperate? If the reports are true, then we must change such attitude.

This action is done only by individuals, but see how damaging it can be. It can certainly scare away potential recruiters in the future.

One rotten apple can destroy the rest, so let us be mindful of our actions and respect our recruiters. They are our potential employers, so treat them accordingly.

You never know how little things can lead to bigger actions, so stop threatening our recruiters but give them the Solomons hospitality and that friendly smiles we are known for.

In reiterating Solomon Islands High Commissioner in New Zealand Her Excellency Joy Kere’s words: Solomon Islands can guarantee the safety of seasonal worker recruiters visiting this beautiful country.

So please recruiters come back again and we will ensure such incident never happen again.

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