North Shore businessman Peter Woodberg has been sentenced to six months community detention, 12 months supervision and
ordered to pay $5600 reparation to victims, following his guilty plea to three representative charges laid by the
Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) for providing immigration advice to migrants without being licensed or exempt.
Mr Woodberg is the director of North Shore Immigration Services (NSIS), which has employed a number of licensed
immigration advisers over the years, but he has never held a licence to provide immigration advice.
The charges related to advice on visitor and work visa applications. Between 2015 and 2017, Mr Woodberg travelled with
his wife to South Africa to present seminars promoting New Zealand as a migrant destination. It was through these
seminars that he met the victims.
Mr Woodberg’s victims were migrants hoping to live and work in New Zealand. He told the victims he had helped several
people with their visas and he knew immigration processes and regulations. He told some of his victims to lie to border
authorities by saying they were only travelling to New Zealand for a holiday, when in reality they were seeking work
The IAA is a government regulatory body with the purpose of promoting and protecting the interests of people receiving
New Zealand immigration advice. It is compulsory for anyone, anywhere in the world, giving immigration advice about New
Zealand to be licensed, unless they fall into one of the exempt categories outlined in the Immigration Advisers
Licensing Act 2007. Mr Woodberg never applied for an immigration adviser’s licence and was not exempt from being
Acting Registrar of Immigration Advisers, Simon Van Weeghel, says this type of knowingly repeated offending is serious
and will not be tolerated.
“Mr Woodberg has employed a number of licensed immigration advisers over the years, and was previously warned of the
obligation to be licensed under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007. Despite this, he blatantly continued to
give immigration advice knowing it was unlawful to do so.
“This is an example of someone who has taken advantage of vulnerable migrants particularly in the South African
community, and emphasises the impact that unlicensed immigration advice can have on consumers, in addition to potential
harm to New Zealand’s international reputation ” says Mr Van Weeghel.
“The IAA continues to raise awareness that this type of offending can cause significant stress and problems for visa
applicants, and will not be tolerated.
“If people need help with an immigration matter they should only use a licensed immigration adviser, or an exempt person
such as a lawyer with a New Zealand practising certificate”.
The IAA investigates complaints about unlicensed immigration advice, and individuals found breaking the law can face up
to seven years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
The IAA’s online register of licensed advisers
is available for those who want to search for a licensed immigration adviser. More information on the IAA can be found