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


Govt needs to send clear message about migrant work abuse

Immigration Spokesperson

7 October 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Government needs to send clear message about migrant work abuse

The abuse of migrant workers risks becoming a scandal of similar magnitude to the exploitation of foreign fishing crew if the government fails to step up its enforcement and prosecution of employers who breach our labour and minimum wage laws, Labour's spokesperson for Labour Issues and Immigration, Darien Fenton, says.

"Revelations that 65 businesses are being investigated for breaches related to the employment of foreign students is just the latest chapter in a whole book of reported migrant worker abuse this year.

"The government has, until very recently, been prepared to sit back and wait for the complaints to come in, rather than taking a proactive approach of inspections and enforcement.

"Because there is no collating of reported minimum wage or other labour law breaches of workers here on work or student visas, there is no way of knowing how widespread the problem is.

"We do know however that, over the last three years, only six employers have been prosecuted by the Department of Labour for breaches of minimum wage laws - resulting in median fines of between $2,500 and $5,000.

“This won't do. In the next couple of years, we will be bringing in 15,000 migrants for the Christchurch rebuild. There has to be an assurance from the Government that this will not become another opportunity for bad employers to exploit migrant workers.

“It can demonstrate it is serious about clamping down on this sort of illegal behaviour by sending a clear message that employers abusing New Zealand labour laws will face the maximum penalties.

“The issue is not only about the standards we expect for all workers in New Zealand, but also our international reputation as a place to study and work in,” said Darien Fenton.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How National’s ”New” Welfare Plan Resurrects A Past Failure

Sam Uffindell’s defenders keep reminding us that he was only 16 at the time of the King’s College incident, and haven’t we all done things in our teens that, as adults, we look back on with shame and embarrassment? True. Let's be honest. Haven’t we all at one time or another, joined a gang and beaten a smaller, younger kid black and blue with wooden clubs? In that respect, Uffindell’s defenders on the streets of Tauranga risk sounding a bit like the psychiatrist Kargol played by Graham Chapman on Monty Python. Some of the media commentary has also noted how the Uffindell saga has taken the shine off National’s good poll results and distracted us all from the unveiling of an important welfare policy at the recent National Patty conference. OK… So let's put the spotlight back on that welfare policy...


National: Food Prices Climb Taking Kiwis Backwards
Kiwi families continue to battle runaway food prices, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says... More>>

Transport & Infrastructure: Have Your Say On The Future Of Inter-regional Passenger Rail In New Zealand

The Transport and Infrastructure Committee has opened an inquiry into the future of inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand. The aim of the inquiry is to find out what the future could hold for inter-regional passenger rail... More>>

National: Sam Uffindell Stood Down Pending Investigation
Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down from the National Party caucus pending an investigation into further allegations about his past behaviour, says National Party Leader Christopher Luxon... More>>

Government: Tax Break To Boost Long-term Rental Supply
The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax relief for as long as the homes are held as long-term rentals, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

National: NZ Migrant Arrivals Hit Lowest Mark Since 1990s
Today’s net migration figures show that Labour has failed to deliver the desperately needed skilled migrants they promised, meaning labour shortages will persist into the future, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says... More>>

Green Party: Abuse Revelations Leave No Choice But To Overhaul RSE Scheme
The Green Party is calling on the Government to overhaul the Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme in the wake of revelations of shocking human rights violations... More>>




InfoPages News Channels