9 Jan 2019

Chinese construction workers banned from their temporary accommodation

12:24 pm on 9 January 2019

Out-of-work Chinese construction workers who were removed from their accommodation in South Auckland last night had all their belongings seized, a union spokesperson says.

Helmet, cone and broken bricks at construction site.

Photo: 123RF

A lawyer for the labour hire company National Personnel Limited has confirmed the workers were issued with the notices ordering them out of their temporary accommodation yesterday.

The men were issued with trespass notices on Monday and a security guard is now at the locked entrance to the property.

They say they paid thousands of dollars for working visas and were promised jobs, but since arriving in New Zealand they have had no work.

The workers tried to return to the property and the police were called to try to resolve the situation.

Senior Sergeant Stephen Richards said the dispute relates to a civil matter and the role of the police was to ensure there was no breach of the peace.

A Unite union spokesperson, Mike Treen, said 30 workers stayed at a community hall last night and the men were all at the union's offices today.

"We're trying to find temporary and more permanent solutions today asking for people to make offers or billeting or taking people in."

Mr Treen said the men's belongings were seized but have been returned.

The lawyer for the company that hired the men, National Personnel Limited, said yesterday they had been offered alternative accommodation - but the men said they could not afford it.