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MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand First – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Abuse Of Migrant Workers Shameful

The government should hang its head in shame for failing the thousands of migrant workers who have been helping rebuild Christchurch, says New Zealand First.

“The finding that 16 Christchurch hire and construction companies have breached employment laws is appalling,” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“When the government issued work visas for so many migrant workers it should have also kept a close eye on their living conditions, their working conditions and their contracts.

“The National government has allowed open abuse of workers’ rights, and only acted after many complaints.

“This has placed great shame on New Zealand and its reputation as a fair and decent society.

“We should not be lowering our standards because these workers are less well off and are forced to seek work in other countries, away from their homes and families.”

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate launched an audit of firms in May this year, says Mr Peters.

“This should have been on going from the first day a foreign worker was recruited.

“Sure, we can blame the employers for not keeping to our laws, but the government must take responsibility, as it issued the work visas.”