The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) continues to take migrant exploitation cases seriously, and an Auckland bar and restaurant owner is the latest individual to be charged for a migrant exploitation-related offence.
On Friday 17 November 2023, the Auckland individual was arrested by New Zealand Police as a result of a four-month long investigation conducted by Immigration’s investigations unit. A search warrant was executed at an address linked to possible migrant exploitation involving three migrants.
The 53-year-old business owner linked to the case was arrested at the address and subsequently charged with one count of Exploitation under section 351 of the Immigration Act 2009, which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine. More charges are likely.
Following the arrest, Stephanie Greathead, Immigration National Manager Investigations said:
“Immigration New Zealand takes the protection of migrant workers seriously and we will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute individuals involved in migrant exploitation.
“No form of exploitation is acceptable in New Zealand and we encourage anyone who thinks they, or someone else, is being exploited in the workplace to contact us.”
To report a case of migrant exploitation, contact the MBIE exploitation reporting line on 0800 200 088. To report an issue anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Note to editors: Enforcement options for Immigration New Zealand include informing and education, warnings, and prosecution. A prosecution will be considered where there is sufficient evidence, and it is considered to be in the public interest to prosecute.