The first person to be convicted of human trafficking in New Zealand has been granted parole after serving a third of his sentence.

Faroz Ali was sentenced to nine and a half years' imprisonment in 2016 for his crimes.

He was the mastermind behind an elaborate trafficking scheme that lured 15 Fijian workers to New Zealand with false promises of high wages and working visas.

Justice Paul Heath called it "a crime against human dignity" before jailing Ali, and ordered him to repay the victims $28,167.


"It degrades human life and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms," he said.

It was Ali's first term of imprisonment and his first recorded offending.

According to the Parole Board report he held a minimum-security classification in prison and there had been no issues with his conduct or compliance while incarcerated.

Ali said he did not initially think what he was doing was exploitative, Panel Convenor Neville Trendle said in the report.

"He preferred to think that he was helping people from Fiji."

He was now clear what he did was "morally wrong and criminal".

"Mr Ali's offending was very serious and he has acknowledged the comments made by the sentencing judge with respect to the nature of what he did.

"He is, however, committed to complying with the laws of New Zealand in the future."


Ali was released from prison on November 25.

For two years he will be subject to standard and special release conditions.

Special conditions included:

• Not to engage in any employment or have any role in the affairs of any business, trust, company or other entity, unless with prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

• Not to have any contact with any victim of the offending, unless with prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

• To obtain the written approval of a Probation Officer before starting or changing details of his employment.

• To reside at an address approved in writing by a Probation Officer, and not move from that address unless with prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

Last year, Ali's lawyer, Mohammed Idris Hanif, was sentenced for knowingly providing false and misleading information to Immigration New Zealand that helped enable human trafficking.

Hanif was sentenced to 10 months' home detention, with six months' post detention conditions.

He was also ordered to pay reparations to the three Fijian workers who were exploited, in the way of $1575.