Migrant exploitation, visa rule breaches in New Zealand

Community leaders representing Nepalese and Indian communities recently met with Immigration Minister Andrew Little in Auckland to address a concerning issue involving 188 accredited employers in New Zealand. These employers are currently under investigation for migrant exploitation and visa rule breaches. The scale of this problem suggests that thousands of workers may be affected.

The meeting, held at the Sikh temple in Takanini, focused on finding solutions to assist migrants caught up in the ongoing Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) investigation. Many of these migrants are living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in Auckland and face eviction without alternative housing.

As of August 28, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has received 758 complaints against accredited employers. However, this number only represents allegations and does not confirm their validity. Currently, there are 188 active investigations in progress.

MS Education Academy

During these investigations, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is reaching out to individuals abroad associated with employers under scrutiny. They have contacted 193 such individuals and will continue to update them on the situation and its implications.

Support worker Jeet Suchdev, convenor of the United Voice Community Trust, emphasized the importance of INZ reaching out to potential victims of exploitation from all 188 accredited employers, not just those from India and Bangladesh.

The investigations, led by Immigration Compliance and Investigation, involve various branches of MBIE, including the Labour Inspectorate. Inspectors have found migrants living in substandard conditions, with instances of up to 40 people residing in a three-bedroom house.

National’s immigration spokeswoman Erica Stanford holds the Immigration Minister responsible for this situation, describing it as chaotic. She points out that the exploitation problem extends to individuals lacking qualifications, skills, or English proficiency, making it challenging for them to secure jobs that pay the median wage.

Minister Andrew Little emphasized the government’s commitment to combatting migrant exploitation and fraud, emphasizing that those engaging in such activities would face serious consequences.

Community leader Ghouse Majeed

Meanwhile, the Hindu Elders Foundation along with Ghouse Majeed distributed groceries to the AEWV exploited victims.

Back to top button