A joint investigation by Immigration New Zealand, supported by New Zealand Police and the Labour Inspectorate, was launched in July after Zespri alerted authorities to allegations that two contracting companies were exploiting migrant workers.
This led to a Jafar Kurisi, a Tauranga man, being charged under the Immigration Act 2009 with exploitation of an employee. This carries a maximum penalty of up to seven years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
General Manager of Verification and Compliance Stephen Vaughan told sunlive.co.nz: Information provided to INZ from different sources, including a comprehensive file from the kiwifruit industry allowed us to start building a picture of alleged worker exploitation by contractors in the Kiwifruit industry in the Bay of Plenty.”
“Exploitation of vulnerable migrants will not be tolerated in New Zealand and we are fortunate to be working closely with the kiwifruit industry to ensure temporary workers are treated with respect and have the same employment conditions that all workers in New Zealand are entitled too.”
The kiwifruit industry says it is "totally committed" to protecting migrant workers from exploitation after a Tauranga man facing exploitation charges made his second court appearance this week.