NZ Immigration fears Christchurch rebuilding will attract illegal immigrants

Published:  14 Jan at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
New Zealand Immigration officers are planning to carry out random searches on Christchurch building sites in an attempt to discourage illegal immigration.

A huge swathe of Christchurch city centre was destroyed during the disastrous earthquake, with massive rebuilding projects now ongoing. The Kiwi immigration department has said it is aware that the need for construction workers could result in a spike in illegal migrants, and it putting the onus on employers to ensure their workers have the correct visas.

The department is advising employers in the building industry to check online at Immigration’s Visa View site to ensure their employees have the right to be in the country. They are also advised to check workers’ passports for proof they have entered the country legally.

A spokesperson for the department said it was impossible to estimate the numbers of overstayers who may be working on the reconstruction, adding that employers could face legal action if they were unable to prove their due diligence. Christchurch immigration advisor Mike Bell said that any person aware of illegal migrants was legally obliged to report to the authorities, adding that employers had no excuse for allowing the practice.

Recent press reports have stressed that, although all jobs must be advertised to New Zealand residents before they are opened up to legal immigrant workers, there has been little response in Christchurch to requests for construction workers. Several publications have suggested that there is a skills shortage in the construction industry due to increasing numbers of workers emigrating to Australia.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive