Vanuatu seasonal worker dies in New Zealand

The Vanuatu Commissioner of Labour said a seasonal worker in New Zealand suffered a mini-stroke and died on Monday night.

COL Murielle Meltenoven confirmed the deceased is from Malekula and he was employed with the Seeker Farm, but his name is being withheld according to the Vanuatu Daily Post.

Arrangements to repatriate the deceased are yet to be discussed, once the Labour Department receives all confirmed details from the coroner.

Meltenoven confirmed her office will be liaising with the High Commission based in Wellington and the New Zealand High Commission in the repatriation arrangements.

At this stage, the Commissioner cannot confirm the deceased's status with the program, for instance, how long he had been engaged in the program.

The Labour office will ensure the late worker is repatriated as soon as they have the go-ahead from the authorities in New Zealand.

The Commissioner reiterated her message to all seasonal workers in New Zealand and Australia to prioritise their health. She urged them to always observe a healthy lifestyle, including, having a healthy diet and plenty of rest. She discourages heavy consumption of alcohol.

Workers are encouraged to make undergo medical checkups while they are working in these countries.

Meltenoven also took the opportunity to convey her condolences to the immediate families of the deceased, as she acknowledged his contribution not only to his family, but to his Employer in New Zealand, as well as Vanuatu. His death is a loss to the program, she said.


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