Seven carpenters Canterbury-bound

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong 12 October 2016, 12:00AM

Seven more carpenters will be leaving for New Zealand next week after being offered jobs as part of the Canterbury post-earthquake rebuild under the Canterbury Trade Pilot Initiative. 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi met with the group yesterday at his  office  congratulating them.

The initiative by the New Zealand government, which is in its first trial year, is primarily aimed at recruiting and settlement of 24 skilled trade workers from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga for 12 months. 

The current second phase resumes the first phase in July which culminated with first cohort of three local carpenters under the same project. 

One of the men benefiting from the initiative is Kalolo Teo of Samatau. 

Having three children to care for, Mr. Teo said he is grateful for the opportunity. 

“I’m happy I get to go to another environment and extend my knowledge there,” said the father. 

“When the time comes for us to return I will be skilled with experience and hopefully I can get a better paid job when I’m back in the country.”

At the moment, Mr. Teo is working as a carpenter for the Ministry of Police doing maintenance work for police posts.  He said the pay he gets is nothing compared to what he will receive from his work in New Zealand.  “I will be sending money back to help with family when they need it otherwise I will save up what I get until I return.”

The carpenters are paid for NZ$24 per hour employed by either Tradestaff Limited or Adecco Limited. 

The other successful candidates in the project are Suimai Tapuai of Sagone, Saleaula Saleuelese of Vaivase Uta, Faataualofa Toa of Moataa, Gregory Paul Su’a of Falealili, Faamalologa Taseni of Safa’atoa Lefaga and Alapati Toomata of Vailoa Tai. 

A key feature in the intiative is a pre deployment financial support for the workers. 

The Development Bank of Samoa and S.B.E.C. has made a special arrangement under their “Inclusive Development Policy” ALLOWING WORKERS UNDER THE Canterbury Trade Initiative to loan up to $10,000. 

The loan is garnered towards assisting workers with pre-deployment costs like visa fees, medical report fees, airfares, purchase of necessary work tools and settlement costs. 

Workers are required to pay back the funds via direct deductions for duration of their contract in N.Z. 

The Samoa National Provident Fund is also involved in making it possible for workers to make their contributions or deductions for loans from New Zealand. 

This will be on a voluntary basis and workers have the options of either directly depositing their contributions into N.P.F’s N.Z accounts or have the bank of their choice perform the transaction on their behalf. 

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong 12 October 2016, 12:00AM

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