January 17, 2018
Royal tick for Maori-led workforce plan
Former immigration minister turned immigration consultant Tuariki Delamere is proposing Maori take a lead in fixing problems with seasonal workers on farms and orchards.
Mr Delamere raised the issue during a speech delivered on behalf of King Tuheitia at the weekend poukai at Kokohinau Marae in Te Teko.
He said the king has approached the government to discuss how Maori might benefit and participate in the immigration process.
He says about 30,000 of the 50,000 people working in orchards are foreigners and many are exploited and cheated by the contractors they work for, who often come from the same countries.
“His majesty and I think this is the opportunity for Maori to create a nationwide Maori umbrella working with iwi to establish a transparent contracting force for the horticulture sector, a workforce that would comprise Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders as well as foreigners,” Mr Delamere said.
Maori could also be involved in a scheme to create accommodation for workers, perhaps as relocatable units.
Mr Delamere said since 1999 when business and entrepreneur investor categories were first introduced into immigration policy there has been several billion dollars invested into New Zealand, but very little has gone to Maori ventures.
He’d like to see policies that would make it easier for Maori enterprises to attract those funds.
Tuariki Delamere will host a Facebook Live session at 7pm tonight to discuss the Government’s December 1 statement on the state of immigration, as well as the immigration views expressed to the Government on behalf of King Tuheitia at Kokohinau Marae.
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