Sunvoice

Let’s Heed Warning Against Bogus Operators

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jioji Konusi Konrote, yesterday warned bogus operators trying to cash in on the New Zealand seasonal work programme. His simple message: they
04 Dec 2014 09:35
Let’s Heed Warning Against Bogus Operators
Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jioji Konusi Konrote. Photo: Jona Konataci

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jioji Konusi Konrote, yesterday warned bogus operators trying to cash in on the New Zealand seasonal work programme.

His simple message: they will be found out.

The warning also serves as a wakeup call to unsuspecting Fijians who could become targets of scams to make quick money.

Bogus recruiters are allegedly on the move and have allegedly received money from Fijians who have naively given their trust to these unscrupulous operators.

Mr Konrote has made it clear that the ministry  is in charge of a pilot project to find the first 30 seasonal workers. This means that there should be no other recruiting agency out there for this purpose. If there are any, they are illegal. People are encouraged to report them to the relevant authorities, the police and the ministry.

In the past, people have become victims of similar scams. We need to learn from these experiences and say no from the start to people offering us seasonal work in New Zealand in  exchange of cash. Those who ignore this warning and part with their hard-earned cash will have only themselves to blame if they get ripped off.

This warning applies across the board to include offers of work in countries other than New Zealand.

Romanu Tikotikoca, the Fiji High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, raised similar concerns when he was in Fiji recently.

Obviously, he has come across cases where Fijian people have been promised work in the PNG, only to find out that the jobs are different to what was agreed.

People must check the credentials of the recruiting agencies and do a thorough background investigation with the relevant stakeholders and authorities like police before they start negotiations. The agencies must be lawfully registered and credible with testimonies from people who have used their services. The tough scrutiny will safeguard people from the clutches of sinister fly-by-night operators whose only objective is to fleece people.

The New Zealand seasonal work scheme is a significant arrangement that will benefit many Fijians. New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji, Mark Ramsden, said this was an exciting time for Fiji with its re-entry into the Regional Seasonal Employment Scheme. He said RSES was also popular in the region.

The last thing we want to see here in Fiji is bogus groups trying to undermine the scheme.

Police are investigating reports of bogus recruiters.

The outcome of their investigation is eagerly awaited.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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