Shonky work allegedly breaches visa

Many reports claiming shonky driveway repairs in Otago by a Canadian tourist and his two sons could result in the man being given the boot from New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand said George Williamson Stewart could face deportation if it was determined he had been working in New Zealand.

The agency confirmed Mr Stewart entered the country on a visitor visa.

An Immigration New Zealand spokesman said yesterday while visitor visa holders could study for up to three months, ''they are not allowed to work at all''.

''If applicants breach the conditions of their visa, they may become liable for deportation. In addition, they may not be granted further visas unless they can prove they meet bona fide character requirements,'' he said.

Mr Stewart reportedly raised the ire of many in the region for operating with verbal-only contracts, operating under the name of an unregistered company and using unethical sales techniques.

Complaints were still being received by police.

Balclutha police said they had spoken to three homeowners yesterday - two in Stirling and one in Stony Creek - who had paid for work by the men two weeks ago.

The men were active in several Otago towns from January 9 to 26.

Linda Wheeler, of Mosgiel, said the the man and his sons worked on her property three weeks ago. She has now blocked off her driveway where the work was done to avoid vehicles making a further mess.

''They just tarsealed over the top of the weeds and everything,'' she said.

''You've only got to rub it with your foot and it all comes away.

''What a mess they've made of it. They've just gone over sticks and everything, you can pick up the sticks and see the driveway underneath.''

She said she has since had legitimate contractors in to assess the damage.

''They said it will ... have to be scraped up and go to the tip.''

Mrs Wheeler said Mr Stewart told her the job would normally cost $17,000 but because they were in the area that day, she could have the work done for a discount price of $7000.

She accepted and she said she would have paid if her brother and son had not raised the alarm and called police.

As the Canadian crew was packing up to leave, the police arrived, she said.

''The two young ones just got in the truck and took off,'' she said.

''They said: `We don't want any money we just want to get out of here'.''

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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