EDITORIAL: Lead world by showing we’re good employers

Monday June 24, 2019 Written by Published in Opinion

When the kids are yelling at you over which brand of cereal to buy, Health Star Ratings on the packet may not be foremost in your mind.


Not everybody can afford to worry whether their clothes have Fair Trade accreditation, proving they weren’t made in Bangladesh sweatshops.

But those who have higher incomes are increasingly able to influence companies by choosing to buy ethical.

If the Cook Islands want to woo high-yield tourists – and we do – then we need to assure them our resorts and restaurants treat their staff decently.

Nobody is going to feel comfortable paying hundreds of dollars for a waterfront room, if they know the cleaners and grounds staff are being bullied and paid less than minimum wage.

How can we offer that assurance? With the same sort of accreditation that’s stamped on our cornflakes packets. International accreditors like Top Employers Institute interview staff and managers before awarding the prestigious badge.

The Cook Islands tourism sector can show initiative by offering our workers decent conditions – or we can watch as others take the lead and take our tourists.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Peter Monday, 24 June 2019 18:38 posted by Peter

    Good call Jonathan. I was appalled by what some of them were being paid on my recent visit to Rarotonga in April. Could be reason why so many Fijians and Filipinos are working there in the tourism industry at the many hotels and resorts because locals wouldn't be as susceptible to these malpractices?

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