PACER Plus Pilot Program sends Pacific Workers to Christchurch

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Twenty four skilled workers from Fiji and the Pacific will be off to New Zealand to help rebuild Christchurch which was badly damaged in an earthquake in 2011.

The pilot program according to New Zealand High Commissioner Mark Ramsden could employ more Fijians at a later stage.

Ramsden says the success of the yearlong trial will mean more opportunities for construction workers in coming years.

“We are quite conscious at the moment for Fiji, given the amount of rebuilding and existing construction we going in Fiji. We don’t want to open the flood gate and leave Fiji lose its highly skilled labour.”

The program is part of PACER Plus, a trade and economic agreement between New Zealand and Pacific Island governments.

Mark Ramsden says at the end of the trial, Pacific workers will have a qualification which they can use for other opportunities.

The workers are expected to leave for Christchurch by next month.