Slave labour, health concerns leads to NZ dumpling company ditching prawns from the menu

A traditional ingredient has been ditched from the menu of a popular dumpling company, due to supply chain concerns.

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Prawns are usually a popular choice for house of dumplings customers, but its owner says she can't ignore issues in the industry. Source: 1 NEWS

Prawns are usually a popular choice for House Of Dumplings customers, but its owner says she can't ignore issues with antibiotic use and slave labour in the industry.

"A lot of loyal customers love the prawns, and they can't live without prawns, they just want to order 10 prawn dumplings," owner Vicky Ha told 1 NEWS.

"If I'm aware of the issue and I'm not doing anything about it, I can't sleep at night, because we are the manufacturer.

"I've decided that's enough, we're not doing this anymore."

A report by Humans Rights Watch found trafficking persists on Thai fishing boats, despite pledges to stamp it out.

New Zealand imports more than 5000 tonnes of prawns and shrimps each year. Most are raised in Asia in overcrowded ponds or marine environments.

The health consequences of the antibiotics used to fight disease are now raising alarm.

"It's going to affect us one way or another," Ms Ha said.

"I've seen videos where literally people literally cut open a packet of white powder and chuck it into the pond. That is extremely concerning."

Australian prawns have a good reputation, but that also means they're pricey.

"Buying from Asia you're looking from $15 to $20 bucks per kg, Australian ones probably around $40 or $50 per kg," Ms Ha said.

House Of Dumplings isn't wanting to put prawn-lovers off, but is suggesting they should ask more questions about where their food comes from.