Seasonal workers

Informal imports of a highly addictive psychostimulant gives seasonal workers in Australia a taste of home

Key points:

  • Australian biosecurity laws allow up to 10kg of betel nut to be imported
  • Demand for betel nut in Australia is soaring
  • Known for its euphoric and relaxing effect, the nut is highly addictive and causes disease

"When the dog goes to everyone and then stops on you, everyone knows that you're carrying something," he said.

"The worst feeling is that I don't know what's in my bag, like in my pocket … if someone put a drug in there."

Covid testing will not lead to penalties for invalid visa holders - NZ govt

Hundreds of seasonal workers have been stranded in New Zealand over recent months, some with expiring visas.

Pacific leaders had already raised concern about those with uncertain immigration status missing out on assistance or healthcare because of fear of being discovered.

However the minister, Chris Hipkins, encouraged them to get tested for Covid-19 if they needed to.

"We will not use the information collected through the Covid-19 testing process for other purposes, including for immigration purposes," Mr Hipkins said.

Fiji RSE workers list concerns with NZ work environment

Last month the Fiji government announced it had banned entire villages from taking part in the Recognised Seasonal Employer ccheme in New Zealand or the similar Australian scheme after complaints from the New Zealand government about misconduct and disorderly behaviour by some Fijian workers.

Now the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate, has met with some of the Fijian workers in this country to " hear their views of the challenges faced."

LOOP PNG’s 5@5

 Maru not happy with number of people working in NZ, Australia

The Papua New Guinea Government will push for New Zealand to include a clause on fruit picking in a Bilateral Trade Agreement for both Pacific Islands Forum member nations.


UPNG student leaders’ accommodation issue back in court

Pacific countries to benefit more from seasonal workers program

That’s over and above those who came to Australia under the earlier seasonal worker pilot programme, said Minister for Trade and Investment, Senator Richard Colbeck.

“We are in the process of negotiating an updated seasonal worker programme MOU with participant countries and we will sign an updated MOU with the Solomon Islands, and we're very pleased to be doing that.

Seasonal farm workers treated badly


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: A group seasonal workers from Fiji and Tonga came to Australia with the promise of earning good money to send home to their families. But that's not how things have worked out.

Since they arrived last month under the official program, the fruit and vegetable pickers have been shocked and disappointed. Some of them earn just a few dollars a day after deductions.

8,500 involved in NZ RSE scheme this year

Michael Woodhouse says it is the largest number since the scheme began eight years ago and reflects an excellent season for apples, kiwifruit, cherries and grapes.

He has told a conference in Apia he continues to be amazed at the impact the scheme has on the families involved.

Woodhouse told the employers the RSE scheme ensures a more stable and reliable workforce for New Zealand growers.

The Minister says a pilot involving Fijian workers for the first time has gone well and he expects many more from the country to be involved in subsequent years.