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Type: Journal article
Title: Engaging with New Zealand's recognized seasonal employer work policy: The case of Tuvalu
Author: Bedford, C.
Bedford, R.
Ho, E.
Citation: Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 2010; 19(3):421-445
Publisher: Scalabrini Migration Ctr
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0117-1968
Statement of
Charlotte Bedford, Richard Bedford and Elsie Ho
Abstract: New Zealand’s Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) work policy is a managed circular migration initiative that is designed to provide benefits to employers in New Zealand’s horticulture and viticulture industries, workers from Pacific states that have limited opportunities for wage-earning employment in their own countries, and the communities that the workers leave temporarily for work in New Zealand. Tuvalu is one of five Pacific countries where the New Zealand Department of Labour has been facilitating participation in the RSE scheme since the policy was formally introduced in April 2007. Tuvalu is by far the smallest of the participating countries, with a population aged 15-49 years of around 4,600 in 2008. It is the Pacific country where the RSE scheme could potentially make the greatest difference to provision of temporary wage employment for the country’s labor force. However, there is little evidence to date that Tuvalians, despite their extensive experience of overseas labor migration, have maximized the potential for temporary work that the scheme offers. This previous experience is examined briefly, followed by a discussion of the terms under which Tuvalu has agreed to participate in the RSE scheme, with reference to the Inter-Agency Understanding (IAU) signed by New Zealand’s Department of Labour and Tuvalu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Labour. The first two years of Tuvalu’s involvement in the program are then examined, drawing on information obtained during field work in Tuvalu in January 2008, January 2009 and April 2010, with particular reference to the perspectives of the different stakeholders involved. We suggest some ways of improving Tuvaluan participation in the RSE work policy at a time when the country’s engagement in the scheme appears to be at risk.
Rights: © 2010 Scalabrini Migration Center
RMID: 0020102858
DOI: 10.1177/011719681001900306
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Appears in Collections:Geography, Environment and Population publications

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