Advisor fined for attempted sex exploitation

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

An immigration advisor who was found to have attempted to sexually exploit a client and employed her as a live-in servant without pay has been fined $18,000.

The complaint was one of four upheld by the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal in relation to Hakaoro Hakaoro.

The tribunal had previously cancelled Hakaoro's licence and prohibited him from applying for another licence for two years after cancellation.

In the decision released last week, Hakaoro was ordered to pay a penalty of $8000 and compensation of $10,000.

The tribunal heard the complainant came to New Zealand on February 3, 2010 and her visa expired on December 4 that year.

In July 2011, when she was 19, she was approached by a cousin who told her there was a couple living in Mangere who were immigration consultants and would provide assistance with immigration issues in exchange for domestic duties.

The couple were Hakaoro and his wife.

The complainant contacted Hakaoro and found her cousin's reports to be correct.

She agreed to be a servant to Hakaoro and his wife and was exploited and expected to undertake inappropriate tasks, included massaging Hakaoro's wife in the early hours of the morning in their bedroom, the tribunal's decision read.

She was not paid a wage and her servant duties involved heavy lifting.

Hakaoro and his wife told the complainant shortly after she undertook the duties that she had been issued with a work permit which had cost them $5000.

The complainant believed the claim which, in fact, was false, the tribunal found.

On an occasion when he was alone with the complainant, Hakaoro said words to the effect that he would get her a residence permit if she would have sexual intercourse with him, the tribunal's decision read.

The complainant rejected his advance and told him she would return to her country of origin.

When the complainant moved to stay with another person "frightened, fearful, and confused" Hakaoro's wife verbally abused her in person, by text, and by telephone, the tribunal's decision read.

Then on October 12, 2011, the complainant was arrested, as her visa had expired.

She was informed that Hakaoro had told Immigration New Zealand of her unlawful status and was later deported.

Tribunal chairman Grant Pearson said Hakaoro neither intended to provide the professional immigration services, nor did he provide them.

"I am satisfied Mr Hakaoro subsequently offered to rapidly advance the complainant's immigration status if she would grant him sexual access; he did so with the intent that the complainant would rely on his professional status to believe he could achieve that outcome."

At the time Hakaoro's license was cancelled, registrar of Immigration Advisers Barry Smedts said the majority of licensed immigration advisers did good work and were honest, upstanding people.

"Unfortunately, here we have one who has completely abused his power and taken advantage of a vulnerable woman in the Pacific community at a time when she needed help the most.

"His conduct has been appalling and, as a result, Immigration New Zealand will no longer accept applications from him or have any dealings with him."

In another tribunal decision against Hakaoro released last week, he was censured and ordered to pay $11,450 after a complaint was upheld against him falsely stating he provided immunity from deportation and smoking and talking about irrelevant sexual matters during consultations.

- APNZ

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