Prior to Australia and New Zealand’s Pacific labour schemes ni-Vanuatu tended to migrate towards Port Vila, Luganville, or New Caledonia for employment prospects that provided families with additional sources of incomes. Often this mobilisation involved families permanently relocating. Since the establishment of New Zealand’s Recognised Employer Scheme (RSE) in 2007 and Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) in 2012, new roads to source income have become available through circular labour mobility.
Migration is a social process, and decisions are based on this. Nonetheless, these new forms of mobility have enabled, and at times, created other forms of intended and unintended mobility. This presentation discussed various mobilities of ni-Vanuatu RSE and SWP temporary workers, by examining access to education, new forms of transportation, and relocations of individuals, families, and communities (2007-2021). However, COVID-19 has stalled progress on development goals and the mobility of these workers and their families in various ways, creating new uncertainties for the future