Nearly 200 employers have had their licence to hire migrants revoked or suspended as an investigation into work visa abuse continues.
Immigration New Zealand was investigating a further 167 employers, who held licences under the accredited employer work visa scheme.
The agency has investigated scores of employers since concerns were first raised in June last year about the exploitation of migrant workers from India, China and Bangladesh.
Migrants reported paying thousands of dollars for work visas, only to be left with little to no work.
In some cases, workers were found living in cramped and unsanitary conditions.
Since then, 136 employers have had their accreditation revoked and another 51 have had theirs suspended.
A further 167 investigations into accredited employers remained underway, Immigration said.
An Auckland bar and restaurant owner was arrested in November 2023 on migrant exploitation charges.
The business owner was charged with one count of exploitation under section 351 of the 2009 Immigration Act, which carried a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine.
An immigration adviser was also arrested as a result of the investigations in October 2023, on charges of providing false information.
The charges also carried a maximum of seven years in prison.
About 200 people who were issued visas under the scheme, but who remained overseas, had their visas cancelled as part of the investigations.
A review into the accredited employer work visa scheme by the Public Service Commission — originally due in December 2023 — has now delayed releasing its findings until later in February.
By Lucy Xia for rnz.co.nz