The Migrant Workers Office (MWO) in New Zealand is an integral institution dedicated to offering a comprehensive range of services and support to Filipino workers residing in the country. This article delves into the various forms of assistance provided by the MWO and its importance in the lives of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in New Zealand.
The MWO used to be called the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), but was renamed in January 2023 when the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) was established. This department was created to improve support and services for Filipino migrant workers in line with the Philippine government’s commitment. The MWO offers legal and health assistance, as well as repatriation aid and other forms of assistance when necessary.
Filipinos in New Zealand
New Zealand has become a popular destination for Filipino workers seeking better opportunities. Filipinos in New Zealand contribute significantly to various sectors such as healthcare, engineering, information technology, agriculture, and hospitality.
The MWO plays a crucial role in ensuring these workers have the support and protection they need while they contribute to both the New Zealand and Philippine economies.
The Role of MWO in Supporting Filipino Workers
Located within the premises of the Philippine Embassy in Wellington, the MWO serves as a sanctuary for Filipino workers encountering challenges and difficulties in a foreign land. From providing legal assistance to facilitating the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership, the MWO stands as a steadfast pillar of support for Filipinos in New Zealand.
The MWO provides an array of services to Filipino workers, including but not limited to:
One of the primary services offered by the MWO is legal assistance. They provide advice and guidance to Filipino workers confronting legal issues related to their employment. The MWO collaborates with New Zealand’s legal bodies to ensure that the rights of Filipino workers are upheld and protected.
OWWA Membership Facilitation
The MWO assists Filipino workers in becoming members of the OWWA, a government agency tasked with protecting and promoting the welfare and well-being of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
The MWO also facilitates the issuance of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), a requirement for OFWs before they can work abroad. This certificate proves that the OFW is properly documented and protected.
The MWO helps ensure that employment contracts are verified and meet the requirements set by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). They verify the details of the contract to protect the rights and interests of the Filipino workers.
In distressing situations where Filipino workers need to return home, the MWO extends its repatriation support. They coordinate with relevant agencies to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey for the workers back to the Philippines.
Pre-departure Orientation Seminars
Knowledge is power, especially for those venturing into a foreign country for employment. The MWO conducts pre-departure orientation seminars to equip Filipino workers with crucial information about living and working in New Zealand.
To uphold the rights of Filipino workers and ensure they are working under fair conditions, the MWO carries out labor inspections. These inspections help identify any instances of exploitation, enabling the MWO to take swift action against offending employers.
Psychological Counseling and Protection
Living away from home can be emotionally challenging. Recognizing this, the MWO offers psychological counseling services to Filipino workers. They also extend protection services for workers facing abuse or exploitation.
Strengthening Bonds and Upholding Rights
The MWO doesn’t limit itself to providing immediate aid to Filipino workers. It continually engages in dialogue with relevant New Zealand government bodies to enforce work conditions and address workers’ grievances. This proactive engagement ensures the rights of Filipino workers are always at the forefront.
Comprehensive Assistance and Support Services
In addition to the services mentioned above, the MWO offers a range of other support services. These include dispute resolution assistance, financial aid during emergencies, and even medical support in collaboration with healthcare institutions.
Accessing MWO Services
Filipino workers can avail themselves of MWO services by visiting the office in the premises of the Philippine Embassy in Wellington, registering online through the embassy’s website, or calling the MWO hotline. The MWO team is always ready to listen and extend their assistance.
Video: MWO Contract Verification for OFWs in New Zealand
Please check out this video as shared by a Filipino in NZ where he talks about the process of verifying a migrant worker’s contract before departing to New Zealand. Although he encourages migrants to research and learn more about the rules and regulations with regards to their employment, this video provides an overview of what is required.
The video highlights the importance of having a signed contract that specifies all the rights and responsibilities of both employer and employee – such as wages, working hours and holiday entitlements. It also covers the need to have the contract translated into English if it is written in a language that both parties do not understand.
The MWO in New Zealand plays a pivotal role in ensuring the welfare of Filipinos in the country. It is a testament to the Philippines’ commitment to safeguarding its citizens, wherever they may be. By providing legal, medical, financial, and moral support, as well as acting as a liaison with New Zealand authorities, the MWO strengthens the bond between the two nations and helps Filipinos achieve success on New Zealand soil.
The Philippine Embassy in Wellington, through the MWO, continues to serve as a beacon of hope and a source of unwavering support for Filipinos in New Zealand. It stands as a testament to the undying spirit of ‘Bayanihan’, the Filipino ethos of communal unity, work, and cooperation, even miles away from home.
MWO Office Wellington, New Zealand
Opening Hours: 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday
Address: Level 1, 286 Thorndon Quay Pipitea, Wellington 6011
Telephone Number: +64 04 260 1161
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/polonewzealand/
Google Map Location
Please check the map guide to find the location of the Philippine Embassy in Wellington and MWO Office: