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Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief

The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam.

“Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under the successful scheme is a practical way of providing support to those who have suffered the most,” says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson, Sue Moroney.

“Workers from Vanuatu take up almost half of the capped RSE positions available for our Pacific neighbours, so it is obviously a scheme that works well for them and can provide some well-timed relief in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam.”

Labour’s Spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs, Su’a William Sio also urged the Government to allow employers to take on more workers.

“Cyclone Pam has affected thousands of people on 33 different islands. Getting cash in their hands quickly is the best way to help them replenish food supplies and rebuild their homes and their lives.

“Increasing the RSE scheme for Vanuatu is the perfect way to do that,” he said.