PM elated with meeting as Mr Apple promises he “will never walk away from Tonga”

Mr Apple, the employer which employs most of the Tongan recognised seasonal employees in New Zealand has promised the company will never walk away from Tonga.

The confirmation was made after the Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva was worried after a Tongan employee, Samuela Manuofetoa fled from the airport early this month without going to Mr Apple.

Mr Apple has turned to Samoa for a replacement of Manuofetoa.

Allister Jamieson, Mr. Apple’s Labour Manager has made it public last night his company will continue to bring Tongan employees to New Zealand.

He confirmed this while speaking during last night’s welcoming reception for the Prime Minister and his entourage.

The special event was attended by more than 300 Tongan employees, members of the Tongan community and RSE employers in Hawkes Bay.

Mr. Apple has employed more than 400 Tongan employees.

Jamieson said he talked with Hon. Pohiva about some of the “challenges that we face with RSE at the moment”.

“The Prime Minister and I had a very frank discussion. It was a full discussion.

“I would like to reiterate one important point…Mr Apple will never walk away from Tonga”, he said.

He told Kaniva News the Prime Minister asked for further opportunities to bring more Tongan employees.

“It was a good meeting”, he said.

Hon. Pohiva said he was elated with the outcome of the meetings.

He said he was happy to hear from RSE employers that most of the Tongan employees were performing outstandingly in the orchards and they were reliable and working hard.

He said they agreed that only few Tongan employees caused some social problems and they determined to work together to resolve it.

Hon. Pohiva told a media conference last night at the Scenic hotel in Napier Manuofetoa’s misconduct has triggered his visit to New Zealand.

He said he held a meeting with the New Zealand high commissioner in Tonga after the incident happened.

“New Zealand was worried about it. There were problems that we need to address in RSE but we worked to resolve them from behind the scene but for this person to just arrive and fled at the airport without going to his employer was of serious concerns”, the Prime Minister said in Tongan.

After his first meeting with RSE workers yesterday morning the Prime Minister and his entourage along with Mr Apple and his staff braved the bad weather to walk around Mr Apple’s orchard at the station road in Whakatu.

He also visited the Hawke’s Bay apple growers, packers and exporters Taylor Corporation as well as the Moffett Orchards which employed more than 100 Tongans.

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.


Latest news

Related news