BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
SOLOMON Islanders under the Recognised Seasonal Employers programme to New Zealand have been praised by a NZ grower Mr Van Vleit for their hard work.
Radio New Zealand reports that New Zealand fruit grower, John Van Vleit was full of praise for his Solomon Islands workers for the hard work made.
The statement said the workers filled 14,000 bins and pack 250,000 cartons of apples and pears for export this season with regards to their hard work which was crucial to the success of the growers business.
“This shows that the industry could no longer survive without the Pacific labourers who are brought in each season to NZ under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme,” the RNZI said.
Vleit adds there is no day off for Solomons which means they worked every day whereas the New Zealanders they have got about three or four a day at time they turn up whenever they feel like.
He said he will soon increase his RSE workforce from 55 to 65 and every single who have finishing this season and ready to come over for holiday with their families are welcomed to go back.
Tony Analau who is the longest serving RSE worker at the JR’s Orchard and the foreman of the Solomon Islands men at the orchard said “When I go home, I work on building my house with the thinking that eventually I will be able to rent it out. So am still building. I have finished building one house but I want to build another one.
Hundred (100) seasonal workers had been employed during picking time and half of them are Solomon Islanders.
The statement adds there are a lot more men than women in the Solomon Islands working at the JR’s Orchard.
Mr Van Vleit is known as JR to his workers,he grows and exports apples and pears to Europe and Asia from a 135 hectare property near Greytown in North Wellington.