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

 


New measures to combat migrant exploitation

Hon Michael Woodhouse

Minister of Immigration

23 June 2013       

Media Statement

New measures to combat migrant exploitation
 
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has announced measures to combat the exploitation of migrant workers, and make it clear that unlawful and exploitative behaviour will not be tolerated in New Zealand.
 
“By breaking the law, unscrupulous employers not only harm their staff but they also gain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors.
 
“New proposals will see exploitative employers face lengthy prison time, hefty fines, and in some cases deportation back to their country of origin. Changes have also been made to encourage victims of exploitation to come forward.
 
“I plan to amend the Immigration Act to make it a specific offence to exploit migrants who hold temporary work visas.  The proposed penalty will reflect the seriousness of the offence – imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine not exceeding $100,000, or both.
 
“Unlawful migrants are already protected by the Act in this way, and it is only right that lawful migrants have the same protections,” Mr Woodhouse says.
 
“I also propose to make exploitative employers with residence visas liable for deportation if the offence was committed within 10 years of gaining residence. We are seeing an increasing number of cases where the crooked employer is themself a migrant, taking advantage of vulnerable people from their own community.
 
“Changing the law to make such employers liable for deportation sends a strong message that the government will not tolerate such behaviour.”
 
Mr Woodhouse says that the legislative changes are likely to be introduced by August, and are in addition to a number of other steps being taken by the government to address the issue of migrant exploitation.
 
“Last week I signed off on an immigration policy change to encourage victims of exploitation to come forward so that action can be taken. There are currently few incentives for migrants to report exploitative practices by employers – particularly when the worker is in breach of their visa conditions, or is unlawful. 
 
“The new policy means that in cases of serious workplace exploitation, migrants who come forward will be allowed to remain in New Zealand while they apply for a new visa. This will also help us better understand the true extent of migrant exploitation in New Zealand.
 
“I am also working closely with the Minister of Labour, Simon Bridges, to ensure cross-agency collaboration on this important issue.  He is looking at operational and legislative mechanisms to improve enforcement of minimum employment standards, including proportionate and severe sanctions for serious breaches.”
 
“Ministers have made it clear to agencies that we expect a whole-of-government response to combating migrant exploitation, and MBIE’s Labour Inspectorate and Immigration New Zealand are undertaking joint enforcement actions targeting the fishing, hospitality, horticulture and viticulture industries.
 
“The decision last year to require the reflagging of foreign-owned fishing vessels clearly demonstrated that putting a stop to illegal exploitation is a priority for the Government. These new immigration changes are another important step towards achieving that goal.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news