06 March 2009

Pacific Division to be re-integrated into NZ immigration department

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Following a damning report in the Pacific Division for New Zealand immigration, the Immigration Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman has indicated he would make major changes to how the division is run.

In a statement, Dr Coleman said he disapproved of the division's creation in the first place, and since its inception, it has gradually separated itself from the New Zealand immigration department and created an unacceptable mess.

"This latest review has found severe deficiencies across Immigration New Zealand’s Pacific Division.  It paints a damning picture of a poorly performing service that was poorly led and lacked a clear strategic mandate," he said in his statement. 

"The Division has become isolated from the rest of Immigration New Zealand over time, effectively acting in an autonomous manner which is out of keeping with accepted practice."

As a result, Dr Coleman will push to have the Division re-integrated into the core of Immigration New Zealand, and to have an independent advisor to monitor accountability and transparency within the division.

Pacific Islanders move to New Zealand in search of better job opportunities or to join their family, and the backlogs have been causing much hassle amongst potential migrants.   According to TVNZ, people queue for a whole day in Apia (Samoa) to collect a form for migration to New Zealand, while Fijians up to 100 people a day queue up for what locals term "the queue of shame".  Applicants in Tonga also begin queuing at 4am in order to get their forms. 


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