Solomon Islands is represented at the RSE Annual Conference in New Zealand.
Horticulture New Zealand recently hosted the annual Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) Conference in Christchurch, spanning on August first and second. This marked the 16th RSE Conference, which united participants from the Pacific region and RSE employers with the aim of knowledge sharing and deliberation on the future direction of the RSE scheme. The event featured a diverse range of speakers including Pacific representatives, government officials, RSE employers, and workers.
A delegation from the Solomon Islands, led by His Excellency Eliam Tangirongo, the High Commissioner to New Zealand, included Christina Maoma, a Research Officer at LMU, Simon Kere, a Marketing Officer at LMU, and June Rofeta Maenu’u, Second Secretary at the Solomon Islands High Commission in New Zealand. These delegates played active roles in various segments of the conference, particularly focusing on updates related to strategies, cultural competence, and contributing to the closing panel discussions.
For the Solomon Islands delegation, the conference offered a valuable platform for engaging in dialogue with employers, promoting their workforce, and cultivating potential employer relationships. With the shared goal of reinforcing trust with employers, enhancing operational processes, and fostering consistent engagement among stakeholders, both the LMU and the High Commission of Solomon Islands in New Zealand are dedicated to these objectives.
During the conference, the LMU Team had productive interactions with numerous employers expressing interest in expanding their recruitment initiatives within the Solomon Islands in the near future. The conference’s outcomes emphasized the prioritized focus on the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea for future RSE recruitment strategies. Labor Sending Units are anticipated to review policies and intensify efforts to bolster RSE participation.
Considering the current landscape, where the Labour Mobility Unit maintains a workforce-ready pool of 2000 individuals and has received a substantial 16,000 applications for the NZ and Australian seasonal labor schemes in the current year, there exists a pressing necessity to augment the numbers within New Zealand’s RSE Scheme. This has been identified as a priority by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade.
Post-conference, delegates embarked on visits to Nelson and Blenheim to interact with Solomon Island workers engaged under the RSE Scheme. While these workers expressed overall contentment with their current employers, there were minor concerns that required clarification.
The LMU team extends acknowledgment to the New Zealand Government, particularly the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and the NZ High Commission office in Honiara for their funding and support. These entities played a pivotal role in facilitating the necessary preparation work leading up to the conference.