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Concern in New Zealand for welfare of stranded Samoan workers

June 18, 2020 10:32 am
Concerns have been raised for the welfare of more than 50 Samoan seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand's by COVID-19. [Source: RNZ]

Concerns have been raised for the welfare of more than 50 Samoan seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand’s by COVID-19.

Their work for the Johnny Apple-seed Company finishes on Friday but they have to pay an extra six weeks’ accommodation and medical insurance, costing about $US600.

An aunt of one of the workers said they are now subsisting on the cheapest, nutrient poor food with their savings being eroded the longer they stay.

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A New Zealand government policy to help workers in this situation does not start until July.

Immigration authorities said a process to help seasonal workers move to other employers has been established but the aunt said it has not been offered to the men.

The foreign ministry said the men should contact the Samoan High Commission to start the repatriation process.

There is currently only one passenger flight a fortnight from New Zealand to Samoa.

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