Family pays tributes to Tongan fruit picker online

The family of a Tongan fruit picker who died in Australia have shared tributes for the man online.

Kaniva News reports Paulo Kivau, 39, was rushed to hospital before he was pronounced dead yesterday.

The tributes showed Kivau went to Australia to work as a fruit picker through government’s seasonal work programme.

It was believed he was sick before he died.

In 2014 Tonga sent more than 1,200 to work in the Australian agriculture and farms.

On the same period the government announced it has received $35.6 million worth of remittances under New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employment (RSE) and Australia Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot scheme.

The Australian programme however was subjected to criticism regularly.

According to an ABC report early last year the Unions Tasmania has raised concerns that a Tongan fruit picking work force in the state’s north-west could be subject to substandard living and working conditions.

It was reported that about 40 Tongan workers were living in a primary school in the regional town of Burnie, in north west Tasmania.

Some of the workers in Latrobe were living in converted shipping containers in a caravan park.