16 June, 2017. Tonga's prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva has apologised to New Zealand for the recent misconduct by some Tongans involved in seasonal work in New Zealand.
This comes after TVNZ reported that several Tongan RSE workers in New Zealand who were taken back to Tonga earlier this year for supposedly excessive drinking had allegedly also committed serious sex crimes.
Immigration New Zealand said it was not aware of these latest allegation until this week.
It said it is investigating and liaising with the employers, the police and other agencies.
The department said strong representations will be made to the Tonga prime minister who is due in New Zealand in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile at a joint press conference in Nuku'alofa this morning Mr Pohiva apologised to his New Zealand counterpart Bill English and said his government was taking steps to improve the selection of RSE workers.
"We will continue to make sure that the selection process from this end is done properly so that we can make sure that the people from this end - they are the right people to do the work."
Puamau Leone Sunday, 18 June 2017 19:56 Comment Link
Fai ai pe kole fakamolemole ki Nuusila. Osi pe term koeni mo e kole fakamolemole pe mo hono veteki e fonua. Hala ke iai haane me'a e taha e tu'u, tatau kotoa pe Kapineti, nau mo'ua pe he folau mo e fie tangata aki e ngaahi ngaue kuo osi tuu ko e ola o e ngaahi alea a e Pule'anga motu'a.Report
Mark Hanson Saturday, 17 June 2017 16:03 Comment Link
Mokofisi, just for your information. Two RSE workers raped two underage girls in NZ and PM 'aki ordered that they be secretly whisked to Tonga behind the back of NZ authorities. He apologised because PM English was not happy that the two rapists escaped when the NZ authorities just started their investigation. Ask the Employment Division of MIA, they know the full story. It was not about the ordinary runaway fruit picker. This was about disrespecting NZ law and harbouring fugitives at the highest level.Report
Does anyone think that PM 'aki would willingly apologise? 'Apology' is not in the vocabulary list of Mr "I-am-always-right", the arrogant pea-brained disgrace.
Sione A. Mokofisi Saturday, 17 June 2017 01:04 Comment Link
APOLOGIZE FOR WHAT? A couple of Tongans trying to find a better life in NZ, and our PM apologizes to their PM? Our PM has no knowledge of how poor people think and feel. Our PM has been living high on the hog from Government for 30 years, accomplishing nothing. He burnt Nuku'alofa with his Useful Idiots in 2006. He should have apologized for being stupid to say what he said.Report
NZ has had runaways and overstayers for years. Ever wonder why nobody from NZ comes and runs away in Tonga? Because there's nothing here for them to better their lives. A certain number of our fruit pickers will run away. Count on it, and don't apologize when they do. They are sick and tired of people like the PM who wants to control their lives to keep them living in poverty like the 25,000 Tongans living under the poverty level today.