Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Philippine government announced that it is looking into a report that said Filipino construction workers in New Zealand are being exploited.

On Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the Philippine Embassy in Wellington is coordinating with trade unions in New Zealand and Migrante Aotearoa, a Filipino migrants organization, to address the concerns of Filipino workers in the country.

A study that was commissioned by the New Zealand trade union E Tū found that Filipinos in Auckland and Christchurch experienced pay discrimination and were treated poorly. According to Catriona Maclennan, who conducted the study, Filipinos in the construction industry are paid around NZ$19 (US$12.73) an hour while local workers are paid up to NZ$35 an hour.

Jesus Gary Domingo, Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand, said that the Embassy has coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant New Zealand agencies to look into crucial matters on migrant employment, workers’ rights and the fair treatment of workers in the country.

Domingo reminded Filipino job seekers who are considering working in New Zealand to make sure that offers and promises are genuine and not misleading.

According to the New Zealand government, in 2013, there were more than 40,000 Filipinos in the country, comprising 1% of the country’s total population.

Read: Filipinos ‘underpaid and poorly treated in New Zealand’