Temporary migrant worker exploitation review

Submissions closed: 27 November 2019, 5pm

Submissions on this consultation are now closed. Find out more about what we are proposing to address the exploitation of temporary migrant workers (including international students) in New Zealand workplaces.


To report migrant exploitation, contact the MBIE Service Centre on 0800 20 90 20

To report anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or fill out a form on crimestoppers-nz.org(external link)

To report people trafficking, call New Zealand Police 105 or 111 (if it is an emergency).

Consultation document

Listen to Immigration, and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway introduce the review and the consultation

Prevention, protection, enforcement

We sought feedback on ten proposals to reduce and respond to exploitation of temporary migrant workers, including international students in New Zealand workplaces.

There are three areas of focus:  to prevent migrant worker exploitation, protect exploited migrant workers, and enforce appropriate working conditions and immigration obligations.

To prevent exploitation, the proposals are aimed at making changes to promote compliance and good employment practices, without adding compliance costs for those businesses that do the right thing.

To protect migrant workers our proposals are aimed at removing barriers to reporting and referral and enabling migrant workers to leave employers who exploit them.

The proposals about enforcement are designed to make sure MBIE has the tools to take action against exploitation, and to discourage employers from exploiting migrants.

View individual sections of the consultation document

Ministerial foreword, Review background and glossary [PDF, 261 KB]

Section A: Proposals One to Four - Prevent migrant worker exploitation [DOCX, 132 KB]

Section B: Proposals Five and Six - Protect temporary migrant workers [DOCX, 128 KB]

Section C: Proposals Seven to Ten - Enforce immigration and employment law [DOCX, 280 KB]

Annexes [PDF, 657 KB]

Background information on the review 

Figure 1: Overview of proposals, who might be interested, and where to find them in the discussion document
figure 1 summary proposals

Even though this Temporary Migrant Worker Exploitation Review focuses on temporary migrant workers, including international students, many of the proposals to reduce their exploitation could benefit everyone in work, including New Zealand permanent residents and citizens.

Next steps

The Minister of Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety will report back to Cabinet in early 2020 on the results of the consultation process and with final proposals for change.

We expect to publish a summary of the consultation feedback in the first half of 2020.

Further stages of the review will commence in 2020. We’ll update the information on these stages as they roll out.

Last updated: 02 December 2019