Enforce immigration and employment law

To enforce better employment and immigration obligations, we are proposing new tools to discourage exploitation and take action against exploitative employers and businesses.


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).


Most employers and businesses in New Zealand obey the law in employing and managing temporary migrant workers. But some do not, and their behaviour can have significant impacts on the migrant’s well-being and their finances. These employers and businesses can also undercut others who do obey the law.

To reduce exploitation, New Zealand needs to enforce employer compliance with minimum employment standards and immigration law through a fit-for-purpose offence and penalty regime. This will help to deter employers who might exploit migrants. 

When employers do break the law, New Zealand needs to be able to respond in a robust, proportionate and efficient way.  Workers and the public also need to have confidence that effective and timely action will be taken against exploitation.

Watch the video introduction

What options are we exploring?

We are exploring four options:

  • Proposal Seven: Establish new immigration offences for employer behaviour that contributes to exploitation and vulnerability

  • Proposal Eight: Allow the Labour Inspectorate to issue an infringement notice to employers who do not provide documents requested within a reasonable timeframe

  • Proposal Nine: Expand the stand-down list to include existing immigration offences and, in future, immigration infringement offences for employer non-compliance

  • Proposal Ten: Notify employees on employer-assisted visas who work for an employer who is stood-down

We are interested to hear if you have any other ideas on how to improve the ways we can enforce compliance with the law, including by deterring exploitation and penalising non-compliance.

Read more about our proposals to prevent exploitation in the discussion document

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

How do I give my feedback?

Visit our Have your say - Temporary migrant worker exploitation review page for more information on the different ways to submit your feedback.

All submissions are due by 5pm, 27 November 2019.

Have your say – temporary migrant worker exploitation

Last updated: 17 October 2019