New Zealand has no immediate plans to expand the recruitment of the Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) program at this time.
Responding to questions from that newspaper, New Zealand Foreign and Trade Ministry spokeswoman Susan Pepperell said New Zealand recognizes the importance of CSR to the Pacific, including Fiji.
“However, at this point there are no immediate plans to expand the recruitment of CSR workers,” Ms. Pepperell said.
“New Zealand’s goal remains to gradually reopen borders to the world when it is safe.
“The decision to implement one-way, no-quarantine travel arrangements with Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga was based on a number of factors, including the risk of COVID, flight connectivity and employer demand.
“We are taking a cautious and phased approach to implementation with only CSR workers from these three countries initially eligible for one-way travel without quarantine.”
Ms Pepperell said this approach was an indication of their commitment to advancing opportunities for CSR workers safely and at the right time. She said there are around 270 Fijian CSR workers in New Zealand.
“They can continue to work for RSE employers, who are responsible for providing pastoral care and ensuring the welfare of workers while in New Zealand.
“The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which is responsible for managing the CSR program, maintains regular contact with the Fiji High Commission in New Zealand.