Samoa Observer

Suspension of the R.S.E. means denying people food

Read the article

Suspension of the R.S.E. means denying people food

For over 10 years, many families in Samoa have benefitted from the workers’ scheme, initiated during the New Zealand Labour Government’s Administration under Helen Clark.

It started with the picking of fruits like apples etc, then later extended to other activities like constructions, and freezing works. Later Australia also introduced its own scheme with more liberal employment terms.

Our Government has already announced the suspension of the Scheme until its review is completed. 

The major concerns seem to arise from the adverse impacts of the Scheme on our existing workforce, the old brain drain argument!

This reminds me of the project proposed by PM Howard of Australia during a Retreat of the Leaders’ Forum to set up in three selected Pacific Islands their APTC to teach Pacific Island students in much needed trades for their development. 

Australian labelled Certificates are awarded to graduates! 

The leaders of Niue and Fiji immediately objected strongly because of the expected brain drain challenge that follows. 

Samoa, however, supported strongly the project on the counter argument that some graduate technicians might leave their countries but the rest would stay behind. 

The remittances sent back to their families, contribute a lot to the Foreign Exchange reserves of their countries.

Samoa was chosen as one of the three approved sites for the Australian APTC. Many have graduated in different trades in Samoa. 

Some have left for overseas countries but the majority have stayed behind contributing to our nation's building efforts.

The concerns bothering the Government are quite petty. Whatever challenges facing the Government can be easily addressed through policy determination and a good PR. 

There is absolutely no need to suspend our workers. Let them go, and earn moneys for their families whilst the PM and Cabinet deliberate, even if it takes 5 years of deliberations!

The work opportunities offered by New Zealand and Australia must be taken up. 

Let us not deny from our own people their right to jobs and moneys to raise their living standards. 


Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Leader of HRPP

Samoa Observer

Upgrade to Premium

Subscribe to
Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy unlimited access to all our articles on any device + free trial to e-Edition. You can cancel anytime.