The Samoan Patriot at Silver Ferns Farms


By Nanai Taofiga Laveitiga Tuiletufuga
( By all means, do not let her attractiveness deceive you.
Introducing Elizabeth Collins – the Human Resources Executive from the Silver Fern Farm’s Finegand based Meat Processing Plant in New Zealand.
She will hold no squabble with any of the 50 plus Samoan workers under her supervision as long as they behave and do not tarnish the unblemished Samoans workers profile under her umbrella.
Misbehave and be prepared to face her unattractiveness.
And it’s not because she is in charge, but because she is a Samoan patriot at heart, body, soul and by birthright or as we say it a “Samoa mauliuli.”
Believe or not, Collins is Samoan born with the family moving abroad for greener pastures when she was still a toddler.
Now holding the influential Human Resources portfolio for New Zealand’s biggest meat processors, Collins is in her country of birth to recruit more locals to work as seasonal workers in the Silver Fern Farms locations in Finegand and Temaru.
“As you know, as a Samoan born, I may have a conflict of interest when it comes to Samoans coming over to work for the company, but like you my Samoan pride runs deep,” the Human Resources Executive shared with a group of over 60 Silver Fern Samoan workers to wrap up the company’s recruitment drive this week.
“From the moment you set foot in New Zealand, I am there to pick up and get you settled in because it’s a Samoan thing to do.
“And rest assured you that I will be there for you if you need my help.
“Help me to help you. My door will always be open.
“There are underlying issues in play here which are very crucial not only to Silver Ferns but also the Samoa Government.
“On top of my Human Resources duties, I also play a role to support the Samoa Government’s quest to increase more employment opportunities for Samoans.
“And that is where your job performance comes to play because your untarnished record with the company is leverage to increase our quota of Samoan workers.
“By all means, do not compromise that good standing; otherwise be prepared to answer to the consequences.”
And Collins has the full endorsement from her colleague and Human Resource Executive from the Temaru based Silver Fern Farm, Christie TeAho.
“It’s unfortunate that we can only hire a certain number. And you all know that you play a pivotal role in the Silver Fern family.
“Having worked with many of you, we all know that Silver Ferns can’t operate without you,” continued TeAho.
“To those selected, this time around, I look forward to seeing you come home.”
And from government the message reiterated again and again by the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet Chief Executive, Agafili Shem Leo serves as a friendly reminder.
“As you are aware, the Prime Minister has repeatedly urged the New Zealand Government to abolish the cap which is restricting working visas for Pacific Seasonal Workers to 9,500 a year.
“Now to add momentum to that call, you my fellow Samoans must play your role and be more than ordinary ambassadors but great ambassadors for our country and our government.
“You are not just carrying the hopes of your children, family and community but also our government and our country.
“I need not remind you that government will not hesitate to impose severe penalties that will see your village severed from the Recognised Seasonal Workers initiative should you violate your employment conditions.
“Silver Ferns fully support the government’s efforts and measures developed to manage the workers from Samoa,” noted Agafili.
“Failure to comply with requirements will automatically earn any worker a ticket to return home empty handed and their village will be stood down depending on the severity of the offence.
“Alcohol is a no no, drugs and other social behavioural issues are not acceptable.”
In July 2016, the RSE policy entered its tenth season of operation with Samoa now in her ninth-year anniversary.
It recognizes as a significant milestone for both Samoa and New Zealand relations under the Recognised Seasonal Employer’s scheme.
And it has clearly demonstrated the two countries commitment to the RSE scheme and further strengthens New Zealand’s relationship with Samoa.
And to date Samoa was and is still the third biggest sending country for RSE.