NZ Seasonal Workers To Up Collection For Measles Epidemic Fight

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  • Trade Minister Lautafi Serafi Purcell invited to receive collection from season workers in NZ.
    Trade Minister Lautafi Serafi Purcell invited to receive collection from season workers in NZ.

Up to 2000 local seasonal workers in New Zealand are taking up a collection of $10 from each person to donate to the measles epidemic at home in Samoa.

Workers from all over New Zealand are expected to get together in Hastings on Christmas Day to celebrate the occasion and to take up the collection.

The money will be handed over to the Minister of Trade and Economics, Lautafi Selafi Purcell, who is reponsible for the Regional Seasonal Workers Scheme under his portfolio.

One of the event organisers said the gathering is at the EFKS Hall at Waipatu,  about 200 miles from Auckland, in a semi-rural suburb of Hastings, in the Hastings District and Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand's North Island.

The get together is a first time for workers hired mainly as fruit pickers in more than a 100 farms spread out in New Zealand.

Many of the workers who have just started 7 months contracts from November this year to October next year, left while the measles epidemic was already starting to show up.

Lautafi confirmed an official invitation to the event that was emailed directly to him from the organisers.

“I leave on the 23rd of December to spend the holidays with my children in New Zealand but was caught by surpise by the invitation,” the Minister reacted when asked fo a comment.

He said he was also not aware of the seasonal workers taking up a fundraising collection to help out with the work on the epidemic.

“Government  has no intention of putting any extra burden on our workers but if they want to do so willingly, then we are truly grateful for the gesture.

“Even if they collect $100 it will be hugely appreciated and will gladly accept , it is not the amount but the giving heart that matters the most.”

Overseas donations of materials and cash have been flowing into Samoa from everyhere to help out with the work on the measles epidemic and also to families directly affected by the disease.