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Recently, news media has published an alarming story that foreign workers were paid as little as $4 an hour by a restaurant chain in Auckland (See NZ Herald article here)

This had been a commonly known social issue for some time, but some employers managed to capitalize on the foreign workers' vulnerable visa status by forcing them into long working hours in return for token wages.

lt looks like lmmigration New Zealand finally got round to that issue. It has recently announced amendment to the temporary visa instructions (E3.35.c) that will see the foreign workers being able to report incidents of workplace exploitation without putting themselves into trouble by doing so.

The sub-clause (c) is a new insertion to E3.35 that gives Immigration officers discretion to disregard the whistleblower's own woes with Immigration compliance in the past and present i.e. working full time while unlawfully in NZ.

The victims of the workplace exploitation are in the best position for the government authority to bring justice to those dodgy employers. However, no one wanted to bell the cats because this would inevitably disclose their own non-compliance with Immigration law and / or visa conditions. In this regard, the new measure has some teeth for a change to this ongoing issue.

Let's hope and see some results happening in the next couple of months.

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