Ieti Isaako Sola - Pick Hawke's Bay
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Ieti Isaako Sola

Ieti Isaako Sola

Name: Ieti Isaako Sola

Country: Samoa

Village: Sataoa

How many seasons have you worked under the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme? This is my first season. I have only been recruited with Pick Hawke’s Bay.

Which Orchard are you currently working for? Sunfruit Orchards

Can you remember your first recruitment? Explain how you felt and what it was like for you and your family? Our village minister contacted me to say that I was successful. It was like winning lotto. I felt nervous and excited because this was my first time coming to New Zealand. My family were full of praises that I was finally going to be able to provide for my family.

Can you recall your first season as a RSE worker? What was it like for you? I enjoy the work. It was hard at first. We were picking apples and even though it’s hot all year round in Samoa, the sun here in New Zealand made you feel tired fast. It took me two weeks to get use to it and then it became easy.

How did you adapt to the Western way of life? Were there any challenges? Were there any funny moments? It’s all a new experience. I like looking at the houses in New Zealand. They are very beautiful. NZ is a very fortunate place to live in. The simple things like clean water are very hard to come by in my village. My biggest challenge is my English. It’s not my first language back home. I can understand the simple words, but sometimes when people speak too fast, it all becomes confusing. This is the first Company I have known to provide a translator when you need one.

Did you have a plan? What was it? Have you accomplished it? My goal is to build my parents a new house. The weather in Samoa is changing rapidly and my parents house is not built to last through another cyclone. I would like to make sure my parents are safe. I haven’t reached my goal yet, it will take me at least another two seasons of earnings to achieve this goal.

Do you have any future plans for yourself, your family, or your village/community? My very own long-term goal would be to start my own Taxi stand company in our village. It would bring income into our village and create jobs for the families.

What do you love most about being an RSE employee and the experience that comes with it? I see that if you don’t work hard, you can’t live a comfortable life here in NZ. In Samoa it is so easy to be influenced into a life of crime because things are so hard to come by. To be an RSE employee gives you a life-changing experience. I don’t know how to describe it but it’s a good feeling.

Anything else you would like to add? Working for PHB has taught me things I didn’t realise before. I can save more because PHB educates us on the Western way of living. As a boy growing up in Samoa, I don’t think I have ever had a curfew or rules that I had to follow. We always had the freedom to do what we want, when we want just as long as we went to church every Sunday and I didn’t break any laws. I’m grateful for the opportunity that PHB has given me. It’s a lifetime lesson.