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Media Releases / August 23, 2017

Medical examinations easier in Vanuatu thanks to the Kiwifruit Industry Community Support Fund Inc

MEDIA RELEASE

23 August 2017

Medical examinations easier in Vanuatu thanks to the Kiwifruit Industry Community Support Fund Inc

• Kiwifruit Industry Community Support Fund Inc donates digital radiology equipment to the Vanuatu Ministry of Health
• Up to 2,000 RSE workers can use a new radiology service in Santo

3,500 people from Vanuatu come to New Zealand every year under the Recognized Seasonal Employer programme (RSE) to work in the horticulture industry during peak times when there are insufficient workers available in New Zealand.

As part of their visa application, RSE workers must undergo an Immigration Medical Examination in Port Vila to be able to come to New Zealand. This can provide a tricky situation for these potential employees who must often travel from outlying islands. The requirement to travel to Port Vila increases workers time away from community and family and involves costs while in the city.

Following a pilot assessment in 2016, it was found that Immigration Medical Examinations could be conducted at the hospital on the outlying island of Santo. This would be made possible with the help of a digitizer that enables x-rays to be available in an electronic format that can be submitted to Immigration New Zealand.

To make this dream a reality, the Kiwifruit Industry Community Support Fund Inc raised over $50,000 to purchase a digitiser and arranged for the x-ray machine and digitiser to be made available in Santo. The Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust provided a substantial donation to the Fund which recognises the importance of Vanuatu RSE workers to the wider fruit industry in New Zealand.

Kiwifruit Industry Community Support Fund Inc Chair Neil Trebilco says; “We are delighted to have been able to raise enough money to provide easier medical examinations. Employees from Vanuatu make an important contribution to our kiwifruit industry and the New Zealand economy as a whole, and we are pleased to be able to give them something in return”.

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