News centre

Guilty verdicts in slavery and trafficking trial Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) says today’s guilty verdicts in a significant slavery and human trafficking trial at the High Court in Napier demonstrate that this kind of abhorrent behaviour by employers will not be tolerated.

Joseph Auga Matamata has been found guilty of 13 slavery charges and 10 human trafficking charges after a five-week trial. He was acquitted on one charge of trafficking.

Matamata’s offending related to 13 Samoan nationals that he arranged to bring to New Zealand between 1994 and April 2019.

INZ General Manager Verification and Compliance, Stephen Vaughan, says this is a great result and thanks everyone who was involved in achieving today’s verdict.

“Today’s verdict is the result of a long and thorough joint investigation by INZ and the New Zealand Police, with help from other Government agencies and the Samoan authorities,” Mr Vaughan says.

“I would also like to thank the victims for their bravery during this protracted investigation and trial. This has been a very difficult time for the victims involved who have all been informed of the result.”

For further information contact the media line on 0274 422 141 or email us at: