Temporary Migration as Development Tool? The Potential of Pacific Seasonal Workers to Meet New Zealand and Australia's Development Goals for the Pacific Islands
The concept of temporary migration is commanding increasing attention. As the global community searches for new ways of promoting development in the developing world, and economically-advanced countries continue to experience labour shortages, labour mobility and temporary migration have arisen as potential ‘triple-win’ solutions. This thesis explores the concept of temporary migration as a development tool, using New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme and Australia’s Pacific Seasonal Worker Employer Scheme as models. It examines the extent to which these two recently-adopted temporary migration schemes have the potential to meet the development goals and objectives of New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific region. This thesis argues that in fact, temporary migration can potentially provide a development ‘triple-win’ situation – for the countries that receive the workers, for workers who migrate, and for countries that send the workers in the first instance. However, in the case of New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific, the extent of that triple win depends on a number of factors. Some factors relate to the lessons derived from countries with past temporary migration experiences, about how to manage schemes effectively. Others are specific to the Pacific Island context, the development priorities present in the region, and the unique relationships that exist between New Zealand, Australia and the island states. Therefore, this thesis explores how two temporary migration schemes can be formulated, designed and implemented, in a particular context, to potentially address pressing concerns about development. This thesis does not attempt to analyse whether development objectives have actually been achieved through the schemes but rather assess their potential, as a step towards increasing what we know about how to achieve development in the Pacific, and how other regions of the world can adapt this knowledge in the future.