Christchurch in New Zealand. Photo: Google Maps
Christchurch in New Zealand. Photo: Google Maps

A Filipino construction worker has spoken out about alleged abuse and exploitation he claimed to have experienced since arriving in New Zealand for work.

The Filipino, who worked in Qatar before moving to Christchurch in New Zealand in 2015, said he was paid NZ$24 (US$16) an hour, which is below the industry standard of NZ$35 (US$23), and was overworked and bullied, Radio New Zealand reported.

He said that aside from being underpaid, he was also bullied and his co-workers called him names. He said he was hit in the back of the head and kicked in the butt and his co-workers called him an idiot and said he was stupid.

“Sometimes I have been told I should be ashamed of myself,” he said.

He said his first year working there was good, but then it went downhill. During his second year on the job, his employer stopped giving him pay slips as he was told he did not need them. He also claimed he was subjected to unrealistic work demands.

“Being told to complete eight hours of work in four hours was common,” he said.

He claimed he could not complain to his employers as he did not want to risk losing his visa, which was sponsored by his employers. He said there should be changes to that rule so skilled migrants do not need to rely on employers to sponsor their work visa.

A recent study showed that many Filipino construction workers in New Zealand face pay discrimination and are treated poorly by their Kiwi co-workers. The Philippine government said it was looking into reports of exploited Filipinos in the country.

Read: Govt looking into exploitation of Filipinos in New Zealand

Read: Filipinos ‘underpaid and poorly treated in New Zealand