Temporary migrant worker exploitation review

Days left

Submissions due: 27 November 2019, 5pm

We want to know how to address the exploitation of temporary migrant workers (including international students) in New Zealand workplaces and make them less vulnerable to exploitation.


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’re seeking 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

What do we want to know?

Some of the proposals, particularly about “protection” and “enforcement” are well developed. We expect the consultation process to provide us with ideas and comments on their design.

Our proposals about “prevention” are at an earlier stage. We want the consultation process to test these ideas, and inform our future thinking about whether the proposals should be progressed.

We want to hear from a variety of people, who can bring their views and experiences as migrants and migrant representatives, businesses and employers, and advocates  – everyone is invited to make a submission. 

Please let us know your thoughts on our proposals, how they will affect you, your family or your business and what more we can do to stop exploitation of migrants in New Zealand. Your feedback will help inform the Review.

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.

How to make a submission

Make a submission

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) seeks submissions by 5pm on 27 November 2019.

You can make submissions anonymously

You do not have to tell us your name. But, if you feel comfortable you can provide your name. You can also provide the name of the organisation you represent in your submission.

We will accept submissions in any form

You can provide us with feedback in any way you are comfortable. If you use our submission forms, this will help us to collate submissions.

Your submission may respond to any or all of the issues we ask about

You do not have to answer all of the questions we ask. You may also want to tell us about other things that you think will help reduce exploitation.

You can make your submission by one of these means:

Please send any questions to MigrantExploitationReview@mbie.govt.nz

How submissions will be used (important to read)

The information provided in submissions will be used to inform the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE’s) work on the Temporary Migrant Worker Exploitation Review (the Review).

If a submitter (that is, a person who makes a submission) provides their contact details, we may contact them if we require clarification of any matters in submissions or would like further information from them. You may however make an anonymous submission.

We will prepare a summary of the submissions we receive and publish this on our website but we will not publish individual submissions or personal information. If your submission contains any sensitive information that you do not want to be in our summary of submissions, please indicate this in your submission by using square brackets around your comments [like this]. The summary will not contain sensitive information that submitters advise us they do not want to be released. We will not publish individual submissions. 

The Privacy Act 1993 applies to submissions. Any personal information you supply to MBIE in the course of making a submission will only be known by the team working on the Temporary Migrant Worker Exploitation Review. Personal information will be withheld from the summary of submissions.

Submissions may be requested under the Official Information Act 1982. Submissions provided in confidence can usually be withheld. MBIE will consult with submitters when responding to requests under the Official Information Act 1982.