Vision Behind Seasonal Work

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Mr Dickson Luifanua (middle) with two other seasonal workers.

BY JOY OFASIA

AFTER two seasons of working in the Horticultural sector of New Zealand, Dickson Luifanua has now accomplished his ambition plan to construct a dream home for his family in the rural Northern region of Malaita province.

“After I came back from my first two seasons, I managed to build a permanent house for my family in my village. I plan to complete my house when I come back from this season,” he said.

This year (2019) will be Dickson’s third season at the JR Orchard in Wairarapa, Wellington, New Zealand.

Dickson said the opportunity to be employed in New Zealand has improved my family’s standard of living over the years.

“To be able to work under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme in New Zealand was a dream come true – Not only for me but also for my family back in the rural community. This was the only source of income for my family.

“As a father, I had my own challenges faced abroad, but the thing is I had to sacrifice for my own family in order for us to be happy.

“My close family members have always supported and encouraged me to work hard for my family. I am grateful to all those who helped me in whatever ways that pushed me [a local guy from the northern region in Malaita] forward.”

Dickson is an active employee of JR’s Orchards Ltd, which employs more than 100 seasonal workers and half of them are Solomon Islanders here under the RSE programme.

He said over the years, he has heard about this recruitment scheme in Honiara and had always wanted to join programme.

“I first joined the recruitment a year ago and I have been happy ever since I started. My first work experience was in the nursery section of the farm, whilst my second and third (current) season is in the (fruit picking) harvesting section of the farm.

New Zealand employers have selected Solomon Islanders because of their excellent work performance and attitude. The number of Solomon Islanders working under the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) has been growing annually.

Meanwhile, Dickson and other 34 local workers recruited under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme have recently left the country on Tuesday 19 February.

The 35 local workers will join the 20 Solomon Islanders who have previously left the country on November 2018 to work at the JR Orchard in Wairarapa, Wellington, New Zealand. With the recent departure of workers, the number of Solomon Islander working at the JR Orchard for this year will be exactly 55.

Local recruitment agent said the first group have left last year to engage in Thinning and Pruning whilst this group are to engage in harvesting.

“The men in the group will be staying for 7 months whist the ladies will only have three months to work abroad.”