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New Zealand too reliant on migrant workers, fuelling exploitation issues, new research suggests

New research has found New Zealand has become too reliant on migrant workers to fill labour shortages.

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The Maxim Institute study also found that they system allows too many workers to be exploited. Source: 1 NEWS

Questions are being asked over how we treat workers after a study by the Maxim Institute found they were being exploited and most aren't aware of their basic rights in the workforce. 

The number of temporary work visas at any one time in New Zealand is around 170,000, six times higher than it was 20 years ago, prompting calls to put a freeze on them. 

"We're bringing in a vast amount, a large quantity of people who are here to do those jobs which are dirty or difficult, often low paid and precarious work," researcher Julian Wood told Breakfast this morning.

He says those workers often speak English as a second language and don't understand New Zealand's laws and regulations around work safety.

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A Kiwi labour hire company is set to sign a work placement strategy. Source: Breakfast

"They have multiple points of vulnerability and we're exploiting that," he says.

"We're fooling ourselves that we're treating these people well."