Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has filed charges against another employer over the use of unlawful migrant labour in the building and construction sector in Auckland.

The prosecution centres on two migrant workers located at a Tamaki building site on 27 April who were working in breach of their visa conditions.

A company director faces two charges under Section 343(1)(a) of the Immigration Act for aiding and abetting the workers to be employed in breach of their visa conditions. The penalty for such an offence is a prison term of up to seven years, a fine not exceeding $100,000, or both.

The employer company also faces two charges under Section 350(1)(a) of the Immigration Act for allowing a person to work knowing they are not entitled to do so. If convicted, an offender can be fined up to $50,000.

Acting Deputy Head of Immigration, Stephen Vaughan, says the charges reflect the gravity of the offending.

“It is not acceptable for employers to flout immigration laws in this way, and these charges show this type of offending won’t be tolerated”
“INZ must protect such workers, who are at a higher risk of exploitation, and also support a fair labour market. Employers who don’t follow the rules disadvantage those who do, and it’s important we ensure there is a level playing field”

The defendants are due to have their first appearance in the North Shore District Court on 2 August 2021. INZ will not be naming them ahead of their first appearance.

This is the third prosecution INZ has taken following a series of visits to building and construction sites in Auckland in March and April of this year.

Employer Ren Yang appeared in the Waitakere District Court last month over the use of unlawful migrant labour at an Auckland CBD building site. Another company and employer, both of whom have interim name suppression, appeared in the Auckland District Court yesterday over the use of unlawful labour at the same Tamaki building site. Both prosecutions relate to the employers allowing people to work when they were not entitled to do so. The offence carries a potential fine of up to $10,000.

As these matters are currently before the Courts, INZ is making no further comment or providing interviews.

Immigration New Zealand
July 7, 2021

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