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South Auckland man pleads guilty

Hakaoro Hakaoro pleaded guilty to giving immigration advice without a licence at the Manukau District Court yesterday (9 October).

The 54-year-old from Mangere admitted six counts of providing immigration advice without a licence and one count of holding himself out as an immigration adviser. All charges were brought by the Immigration Advisers Authority under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007.

The Act requires anyone providing New Zealand immigration advice, whether in Auckland or anywhere else, to be licensed by the Authority, unless exempt. Exempt people include New Zealand lawyers.

Registrar of Immigration Advisers Barry Smedts said: “The success of this case hinged on Pacific people speaking out and working with our investigators to build a strong case. We encourage others to speak up if they have received poor immigration advice.”

Mr Hakaoro is to appear for sentencing on 22 November 2013.

Notes to editor

The Immigration Advisers Authority was set up to promote and protect the interests of people receiving New Zealand immigration advice.

We do this by:

  • issuing licences to people who are fit and competent to give immigration advice
  • maintaining competency standards and a code of conduct for immigration advisers
  • investigating people giving immigration advice without a licence or exemption
  • receiving complaints from people who have received poor immigration advice.

Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007(external link) anyone giving immigration advice must have a licence unless they are exempt. Exempt people include lawyers with a current New Zealand practising certificate and Citizens Advice Bureaux staff among others.

The Authority is independent of Immigration New Zealand and cannot give immigration advice or influence a visa application