Police have launched civil action over $34 million of "ill-gotten gains" owned by companies associated with a high-profile Auckland-based restaurant chain.

The attempt to recover the property will be heard in the High Court at Auckland early next year.

Police have not named the restaurant chain, saying only it is "well known" and Auckland-based.

The civil proceedings, brought by the northern asset recovery unit, are over "property valued in excess of $34 million," a police statement says.


This comes after a joint investigation between Immigration NZ, the labour inspectorate, Inland Revenue and police.

Detective Inspector Paul Hampton, of the police financial crime group, said the joint investigation demonstrated the willingness and ability of government agencies to work together to protect the community, detect and prosecute offenders, and recover ill-gotten gains.

"To those who profit from criminal activity, beware", he said.

Immigration NZ general manager Peter Devoy said: "People who derive income from immigration-related criminal activity accumulating assets will now be the focus of inter-agency attention."

This matter is next due before the High Court in Auckland in early 2016, police said in a statement.