Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
The Government has slashed the number of compliance checks carried out to check employers in the horticulture and viticulture industries are meeting immigration obligations says Darien Fenton.Darien
11 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Don’t Ask Us, We Don’t Know Says Government
The Government has slashed the number of compliance checks carried out to check employers in the horticulture and viticulture industries are meeting immigration obligations says Darien Fenton.
Official data supplied to Labour shows the number of compliance visits have been virtually halved since 2009, down from nearly 500 to just 251 in the last financial year.
“It is disappointing that the Government is taking such a lax approach to monitoring and enforcement. Even with the reduced commitment to conducting checks, some 65 employers, many in the horticulture and viticulture industries, are under investigation for breaches of minimum wage and immigration laws arising from student visa scams.
“How many more cases in need of investigation would be identified if the Government was taking this issue more seriously? Migrant workers deserve to be treated fairly and have their legal rights respected and protected.
“The information obtained by Labour also confirms that Immigration NZ and the Labour arm of the new mega ministry, MoBIE do not talk to each other when it comes to matching data around immigration and abuses of New Zealand labour laws for employers who take on students studying in New Zealand.
“They are simply unable to tell New Zealanders the scale of the problem when it comes to ensuring compliance with immigration and labour laws.
“This is the kind of hands off, hoping all will be well approach we have come to expect from this government. The truth is that all is not well, and it’s time the Ministers of Immigration and Labour did something about it.
“That’s why Labour has called for an inquiry into abuses of labour laws for migrant workers, including those on student visas and other temporary work visas,” says Darien Fenton.