International Academy of New Zealand directors could face criminal charges

Graduates (iStock)
Graduates (iStock)

Newshub has learned criminal charges could be laid against the directors of an international school that was allegedly falsifying test results.

The International Academy of New Zealand (IANZ) has been put into liquidation, and The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is investigating.

Now, as the school's directors try to leave New Zealand, Newshub can reveal they could face criminal charges - and they also owe tens of thousands of dollars to former employees.

Jaswinder Kaur blew the whistle on IANZ after she was instructed to falsify hundreds of English language entry tests.

She says she's owed thousands in unpaid wages - money she may now never see, as the company is being liquidated.

"It's really, really frustrating that I am ending up with no justice," she says.

She's not alone - 10 former employees of IANZ are owed tens of thousands of dollars.

A lawyer for the directors told Newshub: "We have not given up on paying those people. We need to work with the creditors".

"I just received an email from the Labour Inspectorate saying your case is closed. The company is going for the liquidation. Your case is closed," Ms Kaur says.

It's not just employees saying they're owed money.

NZQA found the school was passing students that should have failed, the directors acted dishonestly, and student insurance forms were backdated to make records look legitimate.

IANZ ended up being forced to transfer all its students to another college - and the directors are in the process of looking overseas for a fresh start. First Union's Dennis Maga says it's an outrage.

"They should be held accountable. There are hundreds of international students who have no idea what they're doing in New Zealand," says Mr Maga.

The directors of IANZ, Exzur and Zarah Peralta, are not home - their house is on the market and they're now looking at setting up shop in Melbourne.

Their lawyer says: "They are overseas at the moment looking for future opportunities".

Former IANZ tutor, Murray Heasley, first complained to NZQA about poor practice at IANZ in 2014.

"They missed the opportunity to close them in 2014, and the result has been catastrophic for some of these students," he says.

But the Government claims they're still treating the issue seriously. The Crown Solicitor is assessing the threshold for criminal charges to be brought against IANZ directors.