Auckland confectionary shop owners Mohammed Islam and Nafisa Ahmed have been found guilty of exploitation and other immigration-related charges.
Islam was convicted on 10 charges of exploitation and seven other immigration-related offences, Immigration NZ said in a statement, while Ahmed was jointly found guilty of seven exploitation charges related to five victims.
"The charges against Islam and Ahmed are the result of painstaking work by Immigration NZ investigators and a number of people across a range of agencies," said acting general manager Jock Gilray. "Exploiting migrants is an abhorrent practice that undermines human rights and creates an uneven playing field for the vast majority of New Zealand business that seek to comply with New Zealand law."
The pair, New Zealand citizens and originally from Bangladesh, were found not guilty of human trafficking.
Anu Kaloti from the Migrant Workers Association says exploitation of migrant workers is a serious issue in New Zealand.
"People innocently or unknowingly make mistakes in business, but this is obviously a model that is essential to the way they run their business, unfortunately."
The pair will be sentenced in April.
"Businesses are able to pay their workers properly and they are able to treat them well and lawfully, so really there is no excuse or justification for this kind of carry-on," said Ms Kaloti, who's calling for rules around visas to be changed.
"Migrant workers on temporary visas [should] not have their visas attached to any particular employer. That is the problem here."