Tongan community leaders Rev. Sitili Tupouniua and Will ‘Ilolahia are suggesting in light of last week’s Herald article that it is time we bring back the Tongan bananas which will definitely create employment for the growers back home, lessen the burden on Tongans living in New Zealand with their remittance commitments but also affect the trade deficiencies the Pacific island nations endure with New Zealand.
The article say’s Oxfam urges Kiwis to avoid Dole bananas or be wary of buying Dole bananas after the release of a new report claiming the company’s treatment of plantation workers is unethical.
Rev. Sitili Tupouniua a resident of New Zealand was a former grower, MP and member of the now defunct Tongan Commodities Board. He said New Zealand cut importing bananas because of a plant blight but now some crops like the Fijian bananas are immune to this blight yet New Zealand still does not import.
New Zealand born Will ‘Ilolahia who is planning to put up his name for candidacy onto the Auckland District Health Board say’s “Island bananas are known to be very healthy and nutritious. But more importantly Tonga is far closer to New Zealand than the Philippines and we have contributed far greater to the New Zealand social and economic fabric”