A Canterbury asparagus grower Christopher Gray has been fined $26,000 for exploiting 13 workers, of which 10 were seasonal migrant workers from Fiji.
The Employment Relations Authority in NZ previously ordered Gray, a sole trader operating as Motukarara Asparagus, to repay $50,000 to 13 workers for unlawful deductions, minimum wage arrears, and holiday pay entitlements.
The authority said most workers were vulnerable to exploitation, living in New Zealand under the seasonal migrant scheme.
The Labour Inspectorate found some workers were paid based on the amount of asparagus they picked during the 2017 harvest season, at a rate of $2.50 a kilogram.
The authority said penalties were designed to punish and deter, and set at a level to encourage compliance with minimum standards.
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