New Zealand : Alarming Migrant Exploitation, Visa rule breaches

New Zealand : Migrant Exploitation Community Leaders Seek Solutions

New Zealand : In a significant development, community leaders representing Nepalese and Indian communities convened with Immigration Minister Andrew Little in Auckland to address a concerning issue that has been plaguing New Zealand’s immigration landscape. The problem at hand involves 188 accredited employers who are currently under investigation for migrant exploitation and visa rule breaches in New Zealand. This issue has far-reaching implications, potentially affecting thousands of workers across New Zealand.

The meeting took place at the Sikh temple in Takanini and was centred on finding solutions to assist migrants who have been caught up in the ongoing Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) investigation. Many of these migrants find themselves in dire straits, living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in Auckland, with the looming threat of eviction hanging over their heads, and no alternative housing in sight.

As of August 28, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) of New Zealand has been inundated with a staggering 758 complaints against accredited employers. However, it’s crucial to note that this number represents allegations and does not confirm their validity. Currently, there are 188 active investigations in progress.

Throughout these investigations, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has been diligently reaching out to individuals abroad who are associated with the employers under scrutiny.

So far, they have contacted 193 such individuals, ensuring that they are kept informed about the situation and its implications.

Jeet Suchdev, a dedicated support worker and the convenor of the United Voice Community Trust, stressed the importance of INZ extending its outreach efforts to potential victims of exploitation from all 188 accredited employers, not just those hailing from India and Bangladesh.

These investigations, led by the Immigration Compliance and Investigation team, encompass various branches of MBIE, including the Labour Inspectorate. Shockingly, inspectors have stumbled upon migrants living in substandard conditions, with instances of up to 40 people residing in a three-bedroom house.

National’s immigration spokeswoman, Erica Stanford, holds the Immigration Minister responsible for this dire situation, describing it as nothing short of chaotic. She underscores that the exploitation problem extends to individuals who often lack qualifications, skills, or English proficiency, making it increasingly challenging for them to secure jobs that pay the median wage.

Revelations in New Zealand

In response to these alarming revelations in New Zealand, Minister Andrew Little has emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to combatting migrant exploitation and fraud. He stressed that those who engage in such activities will face serious consequences, signalling a determined stance against any wrongdoing.

Amidst these grave circumstances, community organizations are stepping up to provide much-needed support to the victims of migrant exploitation. The Hindu Elders Foundation, in collaboration with Ghouse Majeed, has taken a commendable initiative by distributing groceries to those who have been affected by the AEWV exploitation.

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