Samoan National

Slavery and human trafficking trial involving Samoan national begins today

Samoan national Joseph Matamata, 65, also known as Viliamu Samu, is facing a total of 24 charges in relation to bringing 13 people from Samoa to New Zealand for horticultural work across Hawke's Bay.

Matamata, who has New Zealand residency and lives in Hastings, was arrested in December 2018 after a two-year investigation by Police and Immigration New Zealand.

He was originally facing 18 charges involving 10 people, but further charges were laid in August last year.

American Samoan judge says 'you can't rape and run'

Judge Fiti Sunia was sentencing Apisaloma Timo who was charged with two other men in connection with the assaults in October last year.

The trio picked up two 14 year olds, gave them methamphetamine and had sex with them.

Judge Sunia said there was evidence of an all round failure "in law enforcement, family support, parenting and up and down line."

Timo, a Samoan citizen, said he was sorry and asked to be allowed to go home to take care of his family and create a better future.

Samoan national arrested for human trafficking and slavery named

An Immigration New Zealand spokeswoman said the department understands he is better known in the community as "Joseph Matamata".

The orchard worker from Camberly, Hastings who has New Zealand residency, appeared in Hastings District Court this morning following a two-year investigation by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and the Police.

Victims say Mr Samu closely controlled and monitored their movements, including where they went and who they contacted and he is believed to have promised people well-paid jobs.