Last week over 1,000 RSE workers from Vanuatu were finally able to return home on eight Royal New Zealand Air Force flights organised by Summerfruit NZ along with HortNZ and the New Zealand and Vanuatu Governments.
Summerfruit NZ’s Richard Palmer was instrumental in arranging the repatriation flights and said that many workers had been in New Zealand over seven months and were delighted to be going home. Summerfruit NZ thanks the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their critical and successful facilitation role between industry, NZ Government agencies and the Government of Vanuatu.
Shirley Hiscock from Panmure Orchards kindly shared photos of their RSE workers en route to Christchurch. Shirley said it took them 6.5 hours to drive through the McKenzie High Country over the Lindis and Burkes Passes, in a three vehicle convoy because of the forecast road conditions.
She said it was a wonderful experience for everyone to stop to play in snow at the top of the Lindis Pass and in a fluffy snow shower at Tekapo. And Shirley said that while they will miss their workers, they are looking forward to November and hoping they can have them back for the next season.
Our thanks to Shirley Hiscock for the photos.