Immigration Amendment Act 2015

66 New sections 277A to 277C inserted

After section 277, insert:

277A Powers of entry and search for employees on employers’ premises

(1)

In this section,—

premises means any premises, including a dwellinghouse and any ship or other vessel or vehicle

specified employee means a person who an immigration officer believes on reasonable grounds is or may be an employee of an employer who the immigration officer has good cause to suspect is committing an offence under section 350 or 351

specified person means a person who an immigration officer believes on reasonable grounds is or may be a person who—

(a)

is not entitled under this Act to work in New Zealand; or

(b)

is not complying with 1 or more work-related conditions of his or her visa.

(2)

An immigration officer may, for any purpose listed in section 277(1), exercise any 1 or more of the powers in subsection (3) of this section if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that a specified person or a specified employee is at premises—

(a)

that are owned, occupied, or used by an employer; and

(b)

at which the officer believes on reasonable grounds that work is being done.

(3)

An immigration officer may—

(a)

enter any part of the premises; and

(b)

search for any specified person or specified employee at the premises; and

(c)

require any specified person at the premises to answer questions put by the immigration officer in order to ascertain—

(i)

whether the person is entitled to work in New Zealand; and

(ii)

whether the person is complying with the work-related conditions of his or her visa (if any); and

(d)

require any specified person at the premises to produce for inspection—

(i)

any documentary or other evidence of the person’s identity; and

(ii)

the person’s passport or certificate of identity (whether or not it also relates to any other person); and

(e)

require anyone at the premises who has access to copying facilities to provide copies of any documents or things provided under paragraph (d); and

(f)

require any specified employee at the premises to answer questions put by the immigration officer in order to ascertain whether the specified employee’s employer is complying with the employer’s obligations under this Act.

(4)

An immigration officer may retain any original documents or things produced under subsection (3)(d), and any copies provided under subsection (3)(e), and may check them against any wages and time records, or any other documents relating to the remuneration or employment conditions of any employees, obtained by the officer under section 277(3).

(5)

The powers in subsection (3) may be exercised at any reasonable time during which work is being carried out at the premises, or they are open for business, whether by day or by night, without a warrant or any other authority than this section.

(6)

Any original documents or things produced under this section may be retained and used by an immigration officer until the immigration officer has determined whether the person to whom they relate is liable for deportation or turnaround, and then,—

(a)

if the person is liable for deportation or turnaround, or becomes liable for deportation following the exercise of the immigration officer’s powers under this section, the documents or things may be retained and used by the Crown toward effecting the person’s deportation or departure from New Zealand; or

(b)

if the person is not liable for deportation or turnaround, and does not become liable for deportation following the exercise of the immigration officer’s powers under this section, the documents or things must be returned to the person as soon as possible.

277B Department must review and report on entry and search powers under section 277A

(1)

The Department must, not later than 3 years after the commencement of section 277A,—

(a)

review the exercise by immigration officers of the entry and search powers conferred by section 277A(3)(a) and (b); and

(b)

prepare a report on the review for the Minister.

(2)

The report must include recommendations to the Minister on whether any amendments to the Act concerning the powers under section 277A(3)(a) or (b), or both, are necessary or desirable.

(3)

As soon as practicable after receiving the report, the Minister must present a copy of the report to the House of Representatives.

277C Departmental annual report to record exercise of entry and search powers under section 277A

(1)

The chief executive must include in every annual report prepared by the chief executive for the purposes of section 43 of the Public Finance Act 1989—

(a)

the number of occasions during the period covered by the report on which immigration officers exercised the powers conferred by section 277A(3)(a) or (b), or both; and

(b)

the number of persons charged during the period covered by the report with an offence under section 350 or 351, if the collection of evidence relevant to the offence was significantly assisted by the exercise of the powers under section 277A(3)(a) or (b), or both.

(2)

To avoid doubt, this section does not require the chief executive to include in any annual report information about an entry or a search undertaken by consent.