Prime Minister Tuilaepa attends Annual Pip Fruit Conference Wellington

12th August 2015
Prime Minister Tuilaepa addresses the Pip Fruit Conference
The Prime Minister of Samoa Hon Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi was in Wellington last week as guest speaker for the Annual Pip Fruit Conference. The Conference was discussing the challenges of balancing the industry's demand for labour, while meeting the Government's requirements of using New Zealand workers first. Pip Fruit Inc is an industry association that represents close to 5,500 New Zealand commercial fruit growers and vegetable growers which provides around 50,000 jobs and exporting to more than 120 countries. The New Zealand Pip Fruit Inc and Horticulture New Zealand is valued at more than 5 billion. The Prime Minister in his address stated that because of the rapid growth of the industry, it will require a larger labour force for harvesting and Samoa and other Pacific countries are able to provide this assistance. The Recognised Seasonal Employment (RSE) held its 8th Annual Conference in Samoa in July this year and it opened discussion for workers from the Pacific Islands, to help with planting, picking, packing and pruning in the horticulture and viticulture industries. There are more than 1000 seasonal workers that come from Samoa and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the "scheme allowed workers to earn more money that were able to build new homes, improve their old fales, some bought taxis and operator businesses, others have improved the education of their children, there have been community projects that have been built from money contributed by those who came, and other have been able to be the usual possessions of modern day living - a television, a car, a refrigerator, a washing machine." The Prime Minister was accompanied by the High Commissioner Leasi Papalii Scanlan, Mr Aiono Mose Pouvi Sua, CEO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ms Vaosa Epa, CEO, Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.