The new blackbirds? Vanuatu guestworkers in New Zealand
An agricultural guestworker scheme for Pacific island states began in New Zealand in 2007 to remedy domestic agricultural labour shortages. Vanuatu was one of the first countries to take advantage of the scheme. After a pilot venture in 2007 greater numbers of workers were recruited in 2008. In Tanna, the recruits, though mainly male, represented a cross-section of the population. Their objectives were income generation for education fees, house building and eventually small business development. Early returnees acquired significant capital and met some of these objectives. The scheme has benefited both countries and the first generation of guestworkers.