Migrant workers casualties in Mainzeal collapse

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Labour is asking what has happened to the Chinese workers brought to New Zealand last year by King Faade Ltd, a Mainzeal-related company that this week went into voluntary liquidation following the Mainzeal collapse.Darien FENTON

Labour Spokesperson

17 February 2013                                        

MEDIA STATEMENT

Migrant workers casualties in Mainzeal collapse

Labour is asking what has happened to the Chinese workers brought to New Zealand last year by King Façade Ltd, a Mainzeal-related company that this week went into voluntary liquidation following the Mainzeal collapse.

Last year, King Façade Ltd gained approval in principle from Immigration NZ to bring in 110 Chinese workers as Façade Installers, despite questions from Labour and opposition from unions, who said there were local workers available to be trained for the work.

“There were genuine questions about the granting of this approval that were not satisfactorily answered by either the Minister of Immigration or Immigration New Zealand,” says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Immigration and Labour Issues spokesperson.

“There was only a cursory attempt to find New Zealand workers, and a exaggeration of the skills required to ensure that any Kiwis who could qualify would not meet the requirements.

“Kate Wilkinson, the Associate Minister of Labour at the time, gave assurances that the parent company, Mainzeal, had a good record with Work and Income New Zealand. She justified the decision on the basis that  King Façade would work with Mainzeal and the Industry Training Organisation to develop a Façade Installer Apprenticeship programme.

“What a joke that’s turned out to be.

“All of this shows that Labour was right to be concerned about the slack approach given to granting the approval in principle.

“Sadly, there are now Chinese migrant workers who have also become the victims of this massive corporate failure, who no doubt will have contributed their labour to the work of King Façade, and will probably be going home with nothing,” Darien Fenton said.

ENDS

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