Vanuatu PM Makes Official Visit To New Zealand

At invitation of counterpart Key, Salwai makes first trip

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, August 11, 2016) – Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, left Port Vila before yesterday for a three-day official visit to New Zealand following an invitation by his counterpart, Prime Minister John Key.

In Wellington yesterday, he was expected to meet with the General Manager of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Rob Murdoch, General Manager of Research Geoff Baird and General Manager Communication at Parliament Building, Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy, Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse, Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully, Minister of Climate Change Issues Paula Bennett, Speaker of the House David Carter, and Leader of Opposition Andrew Little.

Today Prime Minister Salwai will visit Auckland Ministry of Primary Industries operational areas and meet with the Director Border Clearance Services Steve Gilbert, Manager North Passenger Craig Hughes, Team Manager Auckland International Airport David Sims and Operations Co-coordinator Kathy Kenyon.

Prime Minister John Key will also accompany Prime Minister Salwai at the War Memorial Museum followed by bilateral talks.

Mr Salwai will also visit the Eastpack facilities and meet with Vanuatu Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE) workers tomorrow before returning to the country on Saturday.

This is Salwai’s first official visit to New Zealand in his official capacity as Prime Minister.

When he was Minister of Internal affairs, he became the first Minister to visit RSE workers in New Zealand.

Meanwhile here at home, over 200 young people shocked the staff of Employment Services Unit, Department of Labour, yesterday when they turned up claiming an employer from New Zealand has arrived to hire more workers and they were ready to apply.

Julie Rereman of ESU explained, “We have a RSE employer with us in the office signing up his returned workers (about 110) and he only needs another 40 people to increase the number to 150”, she said.

“As you know news travels fast and before we knew it, everyone present was pushing to try their luck for the 40 spaces available.

“However, the employer is interested to recruit young people who are not less than 23, and not more than 35 years old.”

Currently Vanuatu holds the record for the number of workers in New Zealand at 3,703 who are employed in both North Island and South Island.

Asked if the number is likely to be increased this year, Rereman says it may remain the same from July 2016 to July 2017.

“Our number went up went up last year because employers took into account the impact of Cyclone Pam and the recovery process which followed,” he said.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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