John Vea


Import/Export by John Vea

Artwork Detail

Developed and exhibited over eight years, Import/ Export, 2008–16 directly addresses the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE) established by the New Zealand government in 2007. The scheme permits workers from throughout the Pacific Islands to work in this country for the minimum wage. Employers are permitted to recruit workers for up to seven months from the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

RSE workers are now considered indispensable to New Zealand’s horticulture and viticulture industries. With over 9000 people involved in the scheme each year their contribution has become important to both this country and the workers’ home countries. The World Bank estimated in 2013 that the RSE remittances made up approximately 20 per cent of the gross domestic product for Samoa and Tonga.

John Vea
Production date
plaster, wood
850 x 530 x 970 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2018
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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