Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Farm Workers Exploited Under Minister’s Nose


Media Release

23 February 2003

Immigrant Farm Workers Exploited Under Minister’s Nose

New Zealand First has accused the Immigration Minister of condoning a dubious scheme under which Ukrainian workers come here as low paid farm labourers.

Canterbury based list MP Ron Mark says three of the workers fled from their farms on Thursday, after he started making inquiries, acting in conjunction with Gale Campbell, who runs Business Resources Ltd in Rangiora.

Their inquiries established the three workers were part of a group of 11 Ukrainians who paid $US2000 to an agent acting for a Christchurch man – himself a Russian immigrant.

The trio claim they were exploited while working on Ashburton farms and
have lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. They were paid a salary of $20,000 for working a 13-hour day and $130 was deducted each week from their pay for “expenses”.

The workers have also asked the commission to approach the Immigration Service to seek approval to take up alternative work arranged by Ms Campbell.

Mr Mark claims the Immigration Service rubber-stamped the work visas, without ever checking the workers’ credentials, their ability to function in New Zealand, and the claims made in references provided by the agent.

“The treatment of these people has been disgraceful and the Government is
obliged to help them. I believe there are others too scared to speak out for fear of being physically abused or deported.”

“The fundamental failure was the immigration authorities not carrying out the most basic checks and this created a lax environment where exploitation could occur.

“This scheme was organised in Christchurch under the nose of the Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel. We know that other workers have been brought into New Zealand under such arrangements,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election