Immigration NZ Investigating Exploitation of Vietnamese Workers in New Zealand

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Vietnamese workers in New Zealand allegedly fell victim to promises of high-paying jobs, facing massive debts and no employment. Immigration NZ is investigating the situation, highlighting concerns over the treatment of vulnerable workers. Victims are urged to report any similar cases to ensure justice prevails.

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A group of 16 Vietnamese individuals claimed to have paid a staggering $203,000 in pursuit of promised employment opportunities and better lives, only to be confronted with the harsh reality of no jobs and insurmountable debts. These individuals, brought together by circumstances from a small fishing village in the Vietnamese Khanh Hoa Province, were recruited through Facebook to work for a New Zealand-based company, Do Painters Limited, with the assurance of a generous wage of $50 per hour.

In their quest for a brighter future, each individual allegedly paid $35,000, with an additional $15,000 for those with spouses and children, to secure the job offer facilitated by an agent associated with the company. The dire situation further exacerbated by the cramped living conditions, with 28 individuals being squeezed into a five-bedroom house in Papatoetoe.

Immigration NZ is actively involved in investigating the alleged immigration discrepancies, as confirmed by Acting National Manager Immigration Investigations, Jason Perry. However, details remain confidential to avoid hindering any ongoing investigations. The situation has raised concerns regarding the treatment and exploitation of vulnerable workers, as highlighted by Sky Duong, the group's spokesperson.

The harsh reality dawns on these hopeful individuals, who, coming from humble beginnings in a fishing village, sold all their possessions, including homes, cars, and fishing boats, to fund their pursuit of a better life in New Zealand. With promises of high wages and a brighter future for their families, their expectations were met with disappointment as they faced a lack of employment, no pay, and no contracts upon arrival in New Zealand.

Sky Duong, leading the charge to help these individuals, is determined to seek restitution from Do Painters Limited or secure open work visas to enable them to earn and gradually pay off their debts. Despite denials from the company director, Tu Do, regarding the authenticity of the job offers and claims of the workers failing to report for duty, the legal battle continues as these individuals cling to hope for a resolution.

Immigration NZ stresses the importance of reporting any suspicions of immigration fraud or exploitation. Victims are encouraged to approach Crime Stoppers for confidential and secure reporting of such incidents, underscoring the seriousness with which all alleged cases are treated, regardless of the number of individuals affected.

author headshot Michael Yoon
Last modified on 26 February 2024 by
Michael Yoon
Michael has been working as a lawyer in New Zealand since 2006. Over the years, he has successfully helped thousands of clients to get their desired outcome. Clients find Michael knowledgeable, approachable and professional — a trusted expert.

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