Auckland employer charged over alleged unlawful migrant labour in construction industry

More charges have been filed by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after an investigation into the alleged use of unlawful migrant labour in the building and construction sector.

An Auckland-based employer faces four charges under the Immigration Act 2009, INZ said today.

It follows a series of INZ compliance operations in Auckland during March and April.

During an INZ visit to a building site in Tamaki in April, eight construction workers were found to be allegedly unlawfully working in New Zealand in breach of their visa conditions, the agency said.

An employer linked to the site is due to appear in the Auckland District Court next month.

It is the second prosecution by INZ recently.

Ren Yang was also charged this month after an INZ visit to a building site in March. He appeared in the Waitakere District Court today and was remanded without plea until another appearance next month, INZ said.

Both prosecutions are over the employers allegedly allowing a person to work unlawfully, which carries a potential fine of up to $10,000.

“Employers must follow the rules when it comes to the use of migrant labour, and operations such as this one are key to making sure this happens,” deputy head of immigration Stephen Vaughan said.

However, he added the prosecutions are only a part of the work INZ has been doing with its compliance operations.

“Educating employers and migrant workers about their rights and obligations has been equally important. INZ wants to make sure both parties are fully informed, so they’re in the best position to make the right decisions.”


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