Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Man jailed after Pacific Island overstayers speak out

Hakaoro Hakaoro was jailed for 20 months for providing immigration advice without a licence at Manukau District Court today (22 January 2014).

The 54-year-old pleaded guilty to six counts of providing immigration advice without a licence and one count of holding himself out as an immigration adviser at an earlier hearing in October 2013.

The Immigration Advisers Authority (the Authority), which brought the successful prosecution, found Mr Hakaoro had received more than $13,000 from six Tongan nationals who were trying to obtain lawful immigration status for themselves or relatives. The migrants eventually spoke out after they discovered Mr Hakaoro had carried out little or no immigration work on their applications.

The court heard Mr Hakaoro, a Cook Island national with New Zealand citizenship, had talked three families into paying increasing amounts of money by making several false claims.

Mr Hakaoro offered to help one couple become permanent residents around November 2009. He told them he could assist them even though they were ‘overstayers’ as he knew all the right people.

Mr Hakaoro asked for $3,000 to assist them with their application and $3,000 to provide job offers. Later he also asked to borrow a further$2,000 to pay for his immigration adviser licence.

Anyone giving New Zealand immigration advice, whether onshore or offshore, must be licensed by the Authority, unless exempt. Exempt people include New Zealand lawyers.

Less than six months later, the couple were contacted by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and informed they had to leave New Zealand. No visa applications had been submitted.

In 2010, Mr Hakaoro offered to help a woman, her mother and her husband. The three paid $3,750 and were asked for an additional $3,000 for Mr Hakaoro to travel to Tonga to obtain police records and check their status with INZ.

When the woman became unhappy with Mr Hakaoro and her son tried to intervene, Mr Hakaoro threatened to call INZ and expose the family’s unlawful status.

Mr Hakaoro told another couple that he had worked for INZ and could get visas for them and members of their family.

The couple’s daughter took out a loan to pay Mr Hakaoro’s fees only to find out from INZ that no visa applications had been submitted for their family.

Judge Eddie Paul said: "Your victims were vulnerable people, anxious to secure their status in this country. One can hardly think of a more vulnerable person than one in a foreign land being offered an opportunity to remain in that foreign land when the reality was that offer was unlawful and delivered in a deceitful way."

“Home detention is not appropriate. It would send the wrong message to the South Auckland community that persons like you can offend and return to the community.”

Mr Hakaoro was ordered to repay $5,000 to his victims at the rate of $20 per week upon release.

Registrar of Immigration Advisers, Barry Smedts, said: “This is a great result for the Pacific community. This case demonstrates that anyone who has had poor immigration advice can turn to the Immigration Advisers Authority for help. We do not deport people and we are separate from INZ.

“Several people affected by this case were in New Zealand unlawfully. It’s thanks to them having the courage to speak out and work with our investigators that we were able to bring this man to justice.”

The Authority recommends anyone seeking an immigration adviser or immigration consultant to first search their register of licensed immigration advisers at www.iaa.govt.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news