Joseph Auga Matamata, 65, has been found guilty of 13 slavery charges and 10 human trafficking charges after a five-week trial at the High Court in Napier before Justice Helen Cull. He was acquitted on one charge of trafficking.
Mr Matamata's offending related to 13 Samoan nationals who he arranged to bring to New Zealand between 1994 and April 2019.
Immigration New Zealand General Manager Verification and Compliance Stephen Vaughan says the jury verdict is the result of a long and thorough joint investigation by Immigration NZ and the New Zealand Police, with help from other Government agenices and the Samoan authorities.
“I would also like to thank the victims for their bravery during this protracted investigation and trial. This has been a very difficult time for the victims involved who have all been informed of the result," he says.
Mr Matamata has been remanded in custody for sentencing, which will take place on 6 May.