Thursday, June 28, 2012

Samoa Quota and my new favorite columnist




I just read another of Morwenna Petaia's columns on Samoa Observver.
I like her writing...very coherent and grounded and easy to relate to.

Then I came across her latest column about the Quota and remittances and migration, and I immediately chucked on my critical pulou lotu, lol.....ready to challenge her (in my head thanks, haha). But as usual, she totally backs up her arguments. Damn it woman!

Anyhow, she does present a good point, if we are losing many of our skilled people, whose left to help grow our economy etc and she touches on the unsustainability of remittances.

But, may I say, there is research (: that proves that for countries like Samoa (and Tonga), remittances over the years have not decreased considerably, family ties remain strong and ongoing immigration/country arrangement have ensured this will continue. 

There are also schemses like the Recognised Seasonal Employer sch(RSE) where those from rural areas are recruited for work within the viticulture and horticural industry in NZ and recently, Australia. 

This means the people being brought to NZ/Aust are only going temporarily but returning home with income that don't just go to faalavelaves but also income generating activities like cattle (ahem - some for faalavelaves aha), small shops, expanding taro plantations and purchasing fishing vessels (small alias).

Morwenna is 105% right in that much of it goes to faalavelaves and sao lelei, we do have a culture of dependence. Why toil in the hot sun when you can rock up to Western Union and withdraw your pekuana?

Countries where out-migration avenues are limited include Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and as a result, face problems of overpopulation, high unemployment and an infrastructure struggling to cope. They don't have the NZQuota to count on  ...BUT, on the plus side, they are a lot more independent than we are in Samoa and Tonga. Most families (esp in the outer villages) have their own garden plots and their diets are a lot better than ours as we result....so yes, remittances and migration are both a blessing and a curse.
fanx you for snoozing through this post with me, 
Frenchy's photo of coast of Asau onboard the Gaualofa 2010




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