Ardern says gov’t needs to protect workers better; Peters calls modern slavery “a reality”

Pehē ‘e he Palēmia ‘a Nu’u Sila’ Jacinda Ardern ‘oku fiema’u ia ke to’o mei he sōsaieti’ ‘a e kau fakalele ngāue ‘oku nau pā’osi’i ‘a e kau ngāue’. Ko e lea ‘eni ‘a Ardern hili hano faka’ilo ‘o ha tangata Ha’amoa ko Viliamu Samu ta’u 64 ne toe iloa pe ko Joseph Matamata ki he tikite ‘e 18 ki hono fetuku taumu’a fakamālohi’i ‘o e kakai’ mo fakapōpula’i kinautolu. Ne a’u ‘o ta’u ‘e 20 tupu e ngāue tukuaki’i kākā ‘a e tangata’ ni ‘a ia ko ‘ene fetuku mai e kakai Ha’amoa’ ki Nu’u Sila’ ni ‘o fakangāue ‘i he founga fakamālohi mo fakapōpula pea a’u ki he ngaahi tukuaki’i hia kehekehe 'o'ona hangē ko e ‘ikai ‘oange totonu ‘enau vahe’.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today the government needed to weed out employers who abused workers.

The Prime Minister was speaking after Samoan national Viliamu Samu, 64, was charged with 18 counts of human trafficking and slavery.

“There are some cases here where there is exploitation occurring where people have the right to work here,” Ardern told Radio New Zealand.

“So there’sa couple of things we need to do here – firstly, weeding out employers who …might not uphold proper employment practices before they are able to access migrant labour.”

She said workers who might be vulnerable to being exploited but had a right to work in New Zealand needed to be educated about their rights.

The government also needed to provide ways people could report exploitation anonymously.

The Prime Minister said the government needed to be able to protect people better.

Modern slavery

Last month Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters described modern slavery as “a reality in New Zealand.”

At the time of his statement, the government had prosecuted two cases of human trafficking since 2015, he said.

“We also believe that many cases go undetected and that some of the products we import do not come from clean supply chains,” Peters said. 

In April this year Transparency International said the New Zealand government needed to speed up the introduction of a Modern Slavery Act to establish clearer rules,tighter regulations and more costly punishments for people and businesses involved in modern slavery.

Transparency International said dairy and horticultural workers described abuse, poor working conditions, lack of pay and being threatened if they complained to Immigration New Zealand.

A Salvation Army report on modern slavery in New Zealand in 2016 said Fijian migrant workers had been left to starve.

The report quoted police as saying modern slavery in New Zealand primarily involved worker exploitation or forced labour, often migrant workers.

Workers abused

Viliamu Samu was charged with abusing the workers during a quarter of a century in Hawke’s Bay.

He appeared in Hastings District Court yesterday following a two-year investigation by Immigration New Zealand and the police.

Samu is better known in the community as Joseph Matamata.

Immigration New Zealand uncovered the exploitation in Hastings while looking into a visa and immigration issue.

The Prime Minister said there had been 1800 complaints in the past year, leading to 13 prosecutions, and 300 investigation.

The main points

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern said today the government needed to weed out employers who might abuse workers.
  • The Prime Minister was speaking after Samoan national Viliamu Samu, 64, was charged with 18 counts of human trafficking and slavery.
  • She said the government needed to be able to protect people better.

For more information

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern discusses protecting migrant workers

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/378504/prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-discusses-protecting-migrant-workers

Modern slavery

Modern slavery

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/modern-slavery

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