One of Polynesia’s highest exports is cultured pearls, which brings in over 100m USD every year, though this has dropped steadily over the last decade. The islands also export manufactured goods such as beer, sandalwood oil, and refined coconut meat which is used in many cosmetic products. Tourism is a great source of income for Polynesia as costs are higher than traveling to many other countries. Agriculture is strong on the islands as well, and many children grow up learning about agriculture so they can work on farms with their family.
Fishing is another common activity on the islands, supporting the economy. The waters around Polynesia are rich in minerals, but mining these minerals for export has become more difficult as the islands are endangered, so mining off the coast is discouraged. Graduate opportunities and work for professionals are few and far between; the economy in much of Polynesia is poorly developed, with many countries relying heavily on foreign aid.
Paid employment in Polynesia is not easy to come by, with the exception of English teaching jobs, which are available though not in large supply. Volunteering is popular among young people, and volunteer work can be found in agriculture, maintaining infrastructure, health, building projects and youth programs. These are competitive and it will usually also cost money to be able to have this experience.
You will need to have secured a volunteer position before traveling to Polynesia, and these are usually found online through international organizations, or if you are studying, through university programs. They may require submitting personal essays as part of the application, and the costs of getting there vary greatly, depending on the length and the nature of the project you would like to work on.
If you are intending to start working in Polynesia, a work permit is a requirement, but the application is slightly different depending on the duration that you are intending to stay on the islands. If you are intending to stay for 15 days or less for work, a certificate will need to be supplied stating all the employees’ details, and the details of the work that you will be doing.
If the employer is based in Polynesia, they can supply these documents, but it will usually be the case that the company in question is not based in Polynesia. Organizations running volunteering programs will be familiar with the policies and procedures, and they will also be expected to provide the forms with all of the details and terms of employment.