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Recruitment Company and Director sentenced for immigration law breaches 29 March 2022

Apex Recruitment Limited and its director, Georgia Carolan-Hyland, convicted and fined for their involvement in knowingly employing migrant workers in breach of their visa conditions.

Apex Recruitment Limited has been convicted and fined $3,600, and its director, Georgia Carolan-Hyland, has also been convicted and fined $1,500, for their involvement in knowingly employing migrant workers in breach of their visa conditions. 

Immigration New Zealand filed the charges in June 2021, after a compliance operation discovered two foreign nationals working on an Auckland building site in breach of their visas. 

Apex Recruitment Limited was charged with allowing the 2 migrants to work in roles they were not legally allowed to do. 

Carolan-Hyland faced charges of aiding and abetting Apex Recruitment Limited to employ the workers while knowing they were not entitled to do such work. 

General Manager Verification and Compliance, Geoff Scott, says the 2 workers had visas that allowed them to do seasonal work, but did not allow them to work in the construction sector. 

'Apex Recruitment and its director were aware of this fact but chose to employ the workers anyway. This shows a blatant disregard for the rules which will not be tolerated.'

Mr Scott says this sentencing is just one of a number of prosecutions (INZ) has taken since it ran a series of compliance and education visits to Auckland building sites in March and April last year. Two other cases have been before the Courts.

In July 2021, Dison Homes was fined $2,500 for its part in allowing two unlawful workers to be employed at a building site in East Tamaki. 

Another defendant, Ren Yang, is due to reappear in Court next month. He faces charges of allowing migrants to work when they were not entitled to do so. This relates to the use of unlawful migrant labour discovered at an Auckland CBD building site. 

Geoff Scott says the prosecutions show INZ takes such offending seriously and will pursue those responsible. 

'Breaking the rules on work visas and migrant labour puts workers at risk of exploitation, and undercuts businesses that are following the rules. Migrant workers need protecting, and employers and businesses who follow the rules deserve a level playing field', Mr Scott says. 

INZ encourages anyone aware of the unlawful use of migrant labour to report it to the MBIE Service Centre on:
0800 209 020

Migrant exploitation cases can be reported to a dedicated exploitation hotline:
0800 200 088

Or reported online via the Employment New Zealand website:
Reporting migrant exploitation

Alternatively, cases can be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers on:
0800 555 111

For further information, phone the media line on:
0274 422 141

or email:
media@mbie.govt.nz