Immigration Minister Nathan Guy welcomed the changes to New Zealand immigration policy.
07 March 2012
New Zealand visa plan welcomed by politician
New Zealand's immigration minister, Nathan Guy has welcomed plans to streamline the New Zealand visa system in order to better facilitate applications.
Mr Guy said Immigration New Zealand's released plan, entitled 'Vision for 2015', would authorities to cope with new volumes of New Zealand visa applications.
"Immigration New Zealand has put a lot of hard work into winning back the confidence and trust of the public and the government. This plan is an important step towards building on these achievements," said Mr Guy.
"The department now makes around 500,000 visa decisions a year, and the quality and timeliness of decision making has greatly improved, along with employer and client satisfaction levels."
Mr Guy went on to explain further changes to the system which include a NZ$75 million (£39 million) investment into online processing of visas and changes which are intended to reduce costs of applying for visas.
Mr Guy said the changes to New Zealand immigration policy were due to the country's need to keep up with competing countries in the world for tourism, education and immigration.
"Immigration makes a major contribution to New Zealand's economy," said Mr Guy. "New migrants add an estimated NZ$1.9 billion [£1 billion] to our GDP every year, international students contribute NZ$2.3 billion [£1.2 billion] and inbound tourists around NZ$9 billion [£4.7 billion].
"We are competing with other developed countries for the same pool of potential migrants, students and visitors. This is why we need to improve how we operate."
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.