Letters to Editor: Better housing for labourers


Re: Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE)

I have been listening to the American free trade negotiators labelling the RSE scheme as nothing more than a form of bonded slavery. They also mentioned that some accommodation provided on site resembles Third World labour camps. They point out that most converted shipping containers and portacoms are not permitted as dormitories under law.

I disagree with the slavery tag and believe the scheme is a good and necessary one going forward.

The issue I have is that Indonesian friends of mine stayed four months crammed into a steel box that accommodates six people (6x3m) and were collectively paying close to $600 pw for these harsh conditions. There is no choice and the few unscrupulous employers that are around know and profit from this.

Open up the accommodation side of the scheme to competition. This would be a great outcome for the migrant workers who should have the same rights and freedom as NZers to choose where they stay and pay the going rate.

This would also provide jobs for Hawke's Bay businesses and keep our American free trade agreement on track.

I would welcome the opinions of any employer,worker or interested party in this matter.

G Sukarna, Napier

Real responsibility

I write to offer my congratulations to Riverslea School.

Our Eskdale team played against Riverslea School in a recent hockey tournament. During the game, our team experienced unacceptable behaviour from some of the opposition players. Today, our school received a surprise visit from teachers and students of Riverslea. They came to apologise for their behaviour. We were blown away and mightily impressed.

I want to congratulate the staff and principal for this leadership. You set standards for your children, you established consequences for not living up to those standards and you followed through. With this enforced personal responsibility as an example, the community of Riverslea School is in sound hands. We look forward to an enjoyable game against Riverslea School in the future.

Ange Tremain, Eskdale

Tormenting sheep

Are those people in Central Hawke's Bay behind the proposed "running of the sheep" so lacking in ideals and morals that they fail to see that this activity will cause the sheep unnecessary distress and torment? It is enough that we steal the young animals from their parents and slaughter them all in the name of agricultural profit - surely we do not need to top it off by tormenting their already horrific lives.

Ed Abdool, Wellington

Cancel sheep run

Please good people of Waipukurau - it is 2011. Sheep running is a foolish thing for a nice town to do if it wants to be taken seriously. Way too hickish and dumb.

Wellington eventually said "no" to their Wellywood sign when they recognised they were about to make themselves the laughing stock of NZ. Please see that if you go ahead with the planned sheep run you will put yourself in the same position. I would hate to see that happen.

Plus with the RWC on at present, it may end up on overseas TV and the whole world will scoff at it. Waipukurau you are better than this. Seriously. Cancel it now and the rest of NZ will applaud and admire you.

Rosemary Shore, Auckland

- Hawkes Bay Today

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