Domino's pizza franchise owner sentenced in Christchurch on migrant exploitation charges

Photo: Geoff Sloan
Photo: Geoff Sloan
A Domino's pizza franchise owner was sentenced on six migrant exploitation charges in the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday.

Immigration New Zealand launched an investigation into Chang-Wei Tsao after it received a complaint about a Domino's Kaiapoi employee working in breach of their visa conditions.

Investigators found Tsao coerced the staffer to work beyond their visa expiry date and forced three others on student visas to work more than the 20 hours per week permitted by their visa.

Tsao had also committed "serious exploitation of another employee", Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment general manager immigration investigations and compliance Steven Watson said.

The exploitation included underpayment of wages and leave, and requiring the employee to pay unlawful premiums.

Tsao pleaded guilty to six charges in February and was sentenced to 10 months home detention on Tuesday.

He was also ordered to pay $7062 in reparations to the victims.

The sentence sent a strong message that breaching the law and exploiting migrant workers would not be tolerated and anyone doing so would be held to account, Watson said.

"I'm incredibly proud of the hard work by our investigators in this case and the empathetic approach they took when dealing with these vulnerable migrants who had been deliberately taken advantage of by their employer," he said.

All complaints of migrant exploitation were taken very seriously and any migrant who though they were being exploited should contact the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Watson said.

MBIE could be contacted on 0800 20 00 88 or via this webpage.