'Unforgettable' - Seasonal worker stuck in NZ due to Covid-19 restrictions sees snow for first time

A seasonal worker from the Solomon Islands who is stranded in New Zealand due to Covid-19 restrictions has seen snow for the first time ever. 

Salvin Webo works for Hawke's Bay organic apple grower Bostock New Zealand.

Their workers would usually return to their home countries from May to November but the because of the pandemic and border restrictions many have had to stay on in New Zealand.

Recently, the company took their staff on a snow trip to liven their spirits, having been away from their families for so long. 

Many of the crew had not seen snow before, including Salvin Webo. He says he has only ever seen it on TV or in magazines and it was "unforgettable". 

“I’m so grateful to be able to explore the beautiful areas of New Zealand that we don’t usually see. My family back home just loved seeing the photos and videos as they have never seen snow before either.”

Bostock says it has worked closely with other employers around the country to ensure they have had employment, accommodation and travel throughout the off season.

“We understand that this is a tough time and its difficult to be away from their families, so we have tried to create new experiences for our RSE workers that they wouldn’t ordinarily have,” said seasonal labour manager Ali Lawn.

Many immigrants are facing uncertainty around visas, and getting home. As of yesterday, some were still waiting for news on their visas and had been told they can use a media release to show employers they are still eligible to work.

For the staff at Bostock, a visa extension of six months was given at the beginning of September.

That will see them through to March 25, 2021.