Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Home detention in unlawful migrant case

Media release

31 January 2013


Home detention in unlawful migrant case

The sentencing of a contractor in the horticulture industry for hiring unlawful migrant workers who were all paid below the minimum wage sends a strong message to employers who may contemplate employing migrants who are not entitled to work in New Zealand.

Bun Thuon Lam, a Vietnamese national with New Zealand residence, pleaded guilty to five charges under the Immigration Act relating to aiding and abetting people to remain in New Zealand unlawfully or to breach a condition of their visa. He has been sentenced at Nelson District Court to nine months’ home detention and 200 hours community work and ordered to pay reparation of $10,000, to be divided between the six workers involved.

The court heard that Lam employed the six in the horticulture industry in the Tasman region knowing they were unlawfully in New Zealand. The workers were not paid the minimum wage for the hours they had worked, were not paid regularly and were not paid any holiday pay. None of the workers had employment contracts and no wage or time records were kept.

A Labour Inspector analysis of the hours worked by the workers estimated they were underpaid between $5,000 and $7,000 each.

The Labour Inspectorate had previously taken Lam to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA). In May 2011 the ERA ordered Lam to pay five of the workers a total of $36,938.16 in respect of unpaid wages, minimum wage arrears, public holiday pay, failing to provide individual employment agreements and making deductions from pay without obtaining written authority from the employees.

Immigration New Zealand’s Acting Fraud and Compliance Manager, Dean Blakemore, says that the employment of unlawful migrant workers will not be tolerated. “This case shows that the consequences of such behaviour are serious,” he says. “We will take swift action against any employer who is involved in such activity.”

Mr Blakemore says the case is a good example of close collaboration between INZ fraud and compliance staff and the Labour Inspectorate in the wider Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“The Ministry is treating this issue as a priority and INZ and Labour Inspectors’ compliance activity is being increased,” he says. “Most employers and most migrant workers are complying with the laws of New Zealand – they are being undermined, and New Zealand’s reputation sullied, by some who are breaking the law.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads.

This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD.

That showed that the City Rail Link, together with surface bus improvement, provided the best regional solution. However, it also identified that the city centre is already facing serious congestion across all major road entry points which, if not addressed now, will worsen. More>>

 

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Kiwi Pride: New Zealand Takes UN Security Council Seat

“New Zealand’s term on the Security Council will place us at the heart of international decision-making for the next two years,” Mr McCully says. More>>

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news