A Hastings takeaway store and its former employer have been sentenced for unlawfully hiring a worker and aiding a person to breach visa conditions.
TNRLNZ Ltd which originally operated Pizza Hut in Hastings, was convicted and fined $2000 at the Auckland District Court.
The charge was under the Immigration Act for unlawfully employing a worker.
The staff member who breached his visa conditions left the country in September 2017.
Director of TNRLNZ Ltd Mahipal Reddy Kolan was also convicted and fined $1500 after seeking discharge without conviction, arguing that it might jeopardise his franchises.
Judge Noel Sainsbury disagreed and said no franchise would be at risk for an offence of that nature.
He added that even if it did, Kolan could pursue other business opportunities.
Judge Sainsbury said that if the defendant was breaching the law relating to foreign workers, it was not his job to protect Kolan from the consequences of his actions.
"The fines were really only incidental, it was the convictions that would bite," he said.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) assistant general manager Peter Devoy said New Zealand businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that their employees are legally entitled to work for them.
"Kolan shows a regard only for himself, entering a guilty plea to the charge, and yet swearing and filing an affidavit denying the offending.
"This was in order to avoid a conviction impacting his current Subway franchise, having sold the pizza franchise after the offence.
"We hope this sentence sends a strong signal that we will take action against employers and others who assist employers to employ workers who are not entitled to work for them."
According to Kolan, Restaurant Brands Ltd terminated the Pizza Hut franchise agreement with TNRLNZ Ltd once it became aware of the offending.
Immigration New Zealand has strict penalties and said it was important for employers to check potential employee records.
"The maximum penalty under the Immigration Act 2009 for employing a foreign national who is not entitled to work in New Zealand is a fine of $10,000."