Tongan seasonal workers plied underage girls in NZ with drugs, booze before sex

A teenager who was paid to party with Tongans in New Zealand on a special seasonal work scheme says the men plied her and her underage sister and friends with drugs and alcohol before having sex with them.

The men, part of the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, were sent back to Tonga in disgrace earlier this year.

But the teen says the men would summons the girls - three of whom were only 15 - several times a week over a six month period.   

“We were young,” she told 1 NEWS. “We grew up not having anything. When the money came in we just went there, alcohol and drugs, whatever was there we took it.”

She says her family has been ostracised since the Tongan community found out. 

“Everyone is ashamed of what we have done because they put the blame on us.”

The teen's mother is calling for the Tongan Government to punish the men.

“I want this raised with the highest authority so those who have done this terrible thing to my daughter are dealt with by the appropriate law,” she told 1 NEWS.

But the scheme’s liaison officer, Sefita Hao’uli, says when he was initially informed of the problem he wasn't told some of the girls were underage. Police have since been informed, he said.

“We have put in place a code of conduct that prohibits alcohol,” Hao’uli told us. 

“Unfortunately by law we cannot make it illegal for people to drink.”