Eight unlawful workers arrested in Northland
17 May 2012
Eight unlawful seasonal workers have been detained by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) in Northland following a joint operation with the New Zealand Police.
INZ Compliance Officers found the eight workers as part of enquiries into the alleged unlawful employment of migrants.
One Malaysian national and seven Thai nationals who had originally come to New Zealand as part of the Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSE) scheme were detained and remain in custody in Whangarei pending deportation.
INZ is making further enquiries with the employers to determine if there have been any breaches of immigration and employment law.
“The RSE scheme has been extremely successful but ensuring that all employers operate within the law is an important and necessary factor in its success,” says Compliance Branch Manager, Dean Blakemore.
“We hope that this will be a warning to employers that they must make basic checks on seasonal workers before they employ them. It is also a warning to people who do not comply with their visa conditions; they are vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers”
Employers employing migrants that are not lawfully entitled to work for them can be prosecuted, and, if convicted, face a penalty of up to $50,000.
INZ is also urging people who are working in breach of their visas to come forward and discuss their individual circumstances by ringing the INZ’s freephone number, 0508 55 88 55.
Note to editors: Immigration New Zealand is part of the Department of Labour. Please do not report or refer to Immigration New Zealand as - “Ministry of Immigration” or “Department of Immigration”.