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Worker Exploitation in New Zealand: A Troubling Landscape

This research found that non-compliance with employment legislation was common particularly in  the horticulture and hospitality industries…While many of the empirical findings have focused on the experience of temporary migrants, non-compliance is not just restricted to migrant workers, as New Zealand born citizens are also subject to exploitation.  Many temporary migrants tolerate exploitation so they can qualify for permanent residency or because they were coerced and/or deceived by their employer.  They may also tolerate the situation because of power imbalances (perceived or actual) or because of limited options available to them.  Some pay their own salaries to obtain residency.  Worker exploitation is widespread in terms of industry sectors and/or visa categories, with much of it remaining hidden.  The findings of this report, which highlight and uncover areas of significant concern, deserve urgent attention.

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