Has Labour breached immigration laws?

With the debacle over their intern programme all over the news, David Farrar, takes a break from blogging about lifestyle, travel and fitness topics to wonder if Labour has broken any immigration laws:

But the key one for now, is whether Labour has taken part in a massive case of immigration fraud.

If the “fellows” are here on a visitor visa, then the rules from Immigration NZ are very clear:

On a visitor visa you can do volunteer work while in New Zealand, provided you receive no gain or reward.

And what is gain or reward?

  • Gain or reward is any payment or benefit that can be valued in terms of money.
  • Examples include:
  • accommodation, such as board or lodging
  • goods, such as food or clothing
  • services, such as transport
  • training.

We know these “fellows” are being given free accommodation in exchange for their work, so they are in breach of their visitor visa conditions, if they have visitor visas.

It is possible they have other visas, such as work visas. But it is hard to imagine they could qualify for work visas, and the hypocrisy would be great – Labour bringing in unpaid fellows on work visas, while campaigning against such work visas.

So it looks like either Labour has arranged 85 work visas for its unpaid fellows while campaigning to reduce the number of work visas for unskilled jobs or Labour has been complicit in a huge case of immigration fraud.

It’s a real mess and it simply doesn’t wash that no one knew about this other than Matt McCarten.

There are key Labour staffers involved in the recruiting, surely Labour’s management processes are more robust than letting Matt McCarten run his own little fiefdom without any oversight?



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.