Caring for Tongan RSE workers

18 January 2022

The impact of the tsunami on Tonga – combined with all the uncertainty – will affect Tongan RSE workers, now and over the coming months. 

The horticulture industry is working with Civil Defence, District Health Boards and the Ministry for Health, and contacts in Tonga to understand what support is available.  We will get this information to our industry as soon as it becomes available but in the interim, please reach out to your industry RSE representative with specific issues or requests on how we can support you. 

Please also see below for suggestions for employers with Tongan RSE workers.

  • Check in daily with Tongan workers to see how they are, and to ensure they know they can reach out for help and advice at any stage. 
  • Ask worker representatives, leaders and supervisors to look out for signs of anxiety or stress, and have a plan to help with anything that might arise.  For example, have someone appropriate ready to talk to the workers, like a member of the New Zealand Tongan community. 
  • Make sure all workers are taking breaks, especially as summer temperatures rise. 
  • Look after yourself too.  Many of us aren’t trained to deal with situations like these.  Remember there are services such as 1737, which is a free service for people a bit overwhelmed or just need to talk to someone; and Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP).