Jail visit: MP, lawyer seek assurances on Chinese men’s welfare

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A delegation visited a prison this morning to check that the rights of Chinese men facing deportation have been respected.

Green MP Ricardo Menéndez March fears that some Chinese workers have been exploited while traveling to New Zealand. (File image)
Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Last week immigration arrested 10 men who officials said were illegally working on construction sites in Auckland.

Nine remain in prison with China until they are deported.

Her attorney, Matt Robson, claims the men were trafficked after paying substantial sums to a third party who arranged travel and work.

Robson, Green MP Ricardo Menéndez March, and Unite Union representatives visited the men to check their welfare.

Menéndez March said he wanted assurances about the welfare of men.

“We are concerned that these workers have acknowledged and signaled that exploitation may have occurred at some point in their New Zealand trip and stay in New Zealand.”

Immigration said the men were working illegally on construction sites in Auckland.

A statement by Unite Union said that workers were not asked about claims of exploitation by employers or claims of trafficking in human beings.

“We found that they had no chance of obtaining legal representation.”

Corrections and immigration were asked to comment.