2 Jul 2020

Man encouraged migrants to work illegally in NZ

6:00 pm on 2 July 2020

An Auckland businessman has been fined and sentenced to six months' community detention for providing unlicensed immigration advice.

Visa and passport to  approved stamped on a document top view in Immigration

An immigration expert says a businessman has potentially harmed New Zealand's international reputation. Photo: 123RF

Between 2015 and 2017, Peter Woodberg and his wife pitched New Zealand to potential migrants in South Africa, advising them to apply for holiday visas but then illegally work here instead.

Woodberg's business - North Shore Immigration Services - has employed several licensed immigration advisers but he himself has never held a licence.

He pleaded guilty to three charges laid by the Immigration Advisers Authority and will also pay $5600 in reparation to his victims, and remain under supervision for 12 months.

The acting registrar of immigration advisers, Simon Van Weeghel, said Woodberg had potentially harmed New Zealand's international reputation.

"This is an example of someone who has taken advantage of vulnerable migrants, particularly in the South African community, and emphasises the impact that unlicensed immigration advice can have on consumers," he said.

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