Vaturova Women Return From Kiwi Stint
The only challenge the group faced was trying to adapt to the New Zealand weather, said team leader Peniana Tamona
A group of women from Vaturova Village in Cakaudrove, Vanua Levu, yesterday returned from New Zealand under the seasonal workers’ programme.
Team leader 56-year-old PenianaTamona said the six-month programme was a blessing for the villagers.
Ms Tamona said the programme was organised by a Kiwi woman who came to their village during a vacation.
“One woman from New Zealand was at a hotel near Vaturova Village, she then told us that she will need 15 women to work as strawberry pickers in New Zealand for six months,” Ms Tamona said.
She said the tourist then assisted the 15 women with documentation and got them over to Kerikeri near Northland.
“The only challenge they faced was trying to adapt to the New Zealand weather.
“Apart from that, the working conditions were good and their employers were co-operative and didn’t mistreat them,” she said.
“They provided accommodation and food too, but it was deducted from our salary,” she said.
“We usually get $735 ($NZ500) every week and most us were able to get more than $14,694 ($NZ10,000) after six months,” Ms Tomana said.
She said most of the group members were thinking of using the money to renovate their houses back in the village.
Ms Tomana advised Fijians to maintain their relationships with their employers when working overseas.
“Most Fijians have that tendency once they get overseas under the seasonal workers’ programme, they think they are on a tourist visa. We should go there and try to achieve our goals,” she said.
Edited by Rusiate Mataika