Contract labour migration between Fiji and New Zealand : a case study of a South Pacific work permit scheme.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
This thesis addresses the phenomenon of short-term labour migration between Fiji and New Zealand that operates within the confining structures of formally instituted work permit schemes. Established since the late 1960s on the initiative of New Zealand governments, as part of attempts to regulate labour movements from Pacific Island nations to New Zealand, these schemes have had their greatest success in controlling flows from Fiji. Numerically the most significant users of the schemes, many among this flow have sought rural work in New Zealand. This in turn has led to the expression of hopes that a degree of skill and money transfer will operate through this means to assist Fiji's development. Establishing the efficacy of such mechanisms is a major aim of this thesis. The study also details the pervasive role of government policy in the fortunes of short-term South Pacific labour migration. The need for integrated and flexible approaches to this study is accepted, with the proviso that the requirement to situate this controversial migration in the context of policy is paramount. The latter is achieved here, with the result that the conclusions drawn are generally sympathetic to scheme labour migration, and are therefore somewhat at odds with observed but not openly stated New Zealand government policy.