A Hastings man convicted of people trafficking and slavery is taking his case to the Supreme Court after his attempts to have his convictions overturned were dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
Joseph Auga Matamata, 66, a Samoan chief, was convicted in March 2020 for bringing 13 Samoans to New Zealand and exploiting them for more than two decades. He was sentenced to 11 years in jail.
In April, he appealed his convictions arguing the trial judge had misled the jury over what constituted slavery, while the Crown appealed his sentence, saying it was too lenient.
But the Court of Appeal dismissed his bid in August. They also dismissed the Crown's bid to increase the man's 11-year sentence, but ruled he must serve at least five years in prison.
Matamata has now applied for leave to have a second appeal heard by the Supreme Court. He must now wait to hear if his leave to appeal has been granted by the Supreme Court, as a second appeal is not automatically granted.