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

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

Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about the leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common at the outset of negotiations, and these get whittled down over the course of negotiations. Fine.

Except that 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.

Still, Groser did promise that the cost of medicines would not rise as a result of the TPP trade deal. Great. But this is not what politicians in other countries are saying. More>>

.

 
 

Parliament Today:

'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>>

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:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:

Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news