Up to 2000 people from the Pacific region will arrive in New Zealand in the next few months to carry out seasonal work at orchards and farms around the country.
The first of Samoa's 780-strong workforce linked with the Recognised Seasonal Employment scheme touched down in Auckland yesterday.
It was the first of four special flights organised to bring workers from Samoa.
The rest of the island nation's cohort will arrive on flights on Thursday, next Monday and next Friday and will spend 14 days in managed isolation before travelling to different parts of the country to start work.
Samoa has had no reported Covid cases since late last year and the country has yet to experience community transmission of the virus.
At Samoa's Faleolo International Airport yesterday there were scenes of excitement as families and friends of those heading to New Zealand gathered to say goodbye to loved ones.
Those taking part in the RSE scheme could be easily spotted - with everyone in the group sporting a red and white island-printed Aloha shirt.
The arrivals will be welcome news to many growers and farmers who have experienced a shortage of workers - and therefore rotting fruit or product - in the last few months due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
There are, however, some conditions to this season - one being that only those workers with at least one season of experience here are eligible to come.
Immigration NZ has been supporting officials from respective Pacific countries about the necessary measures each person will have to take this season; including providing a list of items to pack and what to expect in the fortnight they will be in isolation.
For employers, only those with an Agreement to Recruit classification will be able to employ RSE workers from overseas.
Employers will have to make several "additional commitments", as laid out by Immigration officials.
That includes paying staff $22.10 an hour, providing pastoral care and ensuring workers will be employed for the full period of their visas.
The NZ High Commission in Samoa paid tribute to the nation's close relationship and bond with New Zealand; saying: "We are in the same waka."
"The RSE scheme enables the flow of much-needed income and skills between New Zealand and our Pacific neighbours," a statement posted online said.
"We are excited that the workers are able to return for the 2021 season."