A National Party candidate embroiled in an immigration row has admitted having offered a second job to another Indian national seeking residence in New Zealand.
But Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, who is standing for Manukau East, denies he has done anything wrong.
Mr Bakshi told the Herald yesterday he made the job offer "at about the same time" as the first, to bring an Indian to New Zealand to work as a manager for his vending machine business.
A complaint accusing Mr Bakshi of making another questionable job offer to an Indian woman trying to obtain New Zealand residency in 2003 has already been filed with Immigration New Zealand by a member of the local Sikh community .
The Department of Labour, which oversees immigration, says the complaint has not yet been assessed.
A National Party spokesperson said leader John Key was backing his potential MP over the allegations.
"We have sought assurances and received them, and if anyone has evidence to the contrary, it should be referred to the appropriate authorities," he said.
Mr Baljinder Singh said he and some members of the Sikh Society had decided to raise their concerns before the election because they didn't want an MP that would "bring shame to our community".
He said they were now tracking down others who had received job offers from Mr Bakshi, and trying to contact Darshan Singh, the immigration consultant involved, who is believed to have left New Zealand for Melbourne.
"We are trying to trace the others because we heard Bakshi had given job offers to other people as well," Mr Singh said."We feel it is important that New Zealanders get the true picture before they go to the polls."
Mrs Kuldeep Singh, said she paid $25,000 to her immigration consultant for her application and the job offer - but Mr Bakshi says he never received any money.
At current polling and number 38 on National's list, Mr Bakshi will be in the next parliament as an MP.
Mr Bakshi said the second job offer was also made in good faith because he needed to replace an employee.
"I made an offer to someone in India because I needed to replace a full-time staff in my vending machine business who had left," he said.
He acknowledged that the job, operating drinks and snacks vending machines, could have been done by a local - but offered it to an Indian national so that he "wouldn't have a communication problem".
Both applications were declined by the Immigration Service. Reasons given were that the business had no other full-time employees and that it couldn't be sure if it was financially sustainable.
Born in Delhi , Mr Bakshi moved to New Zealand with his family in 2001, where he has been running businesses in property, wholesaling and fashion.
Mr Bakshi said he sold his vending machine business and worked full time on his Indian fashion business - which explained why he did not seek to employ anyone else.
A Sikh Society member, who did not want to be named, said the immigration row had dampened the community's excitement about having the country's first Sikh MP.
"We are all very excited at Bakshi's nomination, but after this controversy surfaced, many of us are very disappointed," he said. "We really wanted a representative who can make us proud, and not bring us shame."
Mr Bakshi said the allegations have done little in denting his support. "People are saying it is just a smear campaign against me."