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Immigration Consultants Cautious Nod fpr Proposals

NEW ZEALAND ASSOCIATION FOR MIGRATION & INVESTMENT

For immediate release: 5 December 2006

Immigration Consultants Give Cautious Nod to New Proposals

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Migration consultants have given a cautious welcome to the package of proposals approved by cabinet for inclusion in a new Immigration Act.

“The proposals seem to be pointing in the right direction but are still sketchy in detail, perhaps inevitably so at this stage,” says Bill Milnes, spokesperson for the New Zealand Association for Migration & Investment (NZAMI).

“We will be interested to see how the proposals get amplified and translated into the legislation to be introduced into Parliament in April next year. Hopefully, the ‘devil’ will not be in the detail,” he says.

“The NZAMI certainly endorses Immigration Minster David Cunliffe’s dual goals of streamlining the law to facilitate the entry of those migrants whom we want, whilst enhancing border security and tightening the law to better exclude those whom we don’t want.

“We also applaud the long term approach that the Minister is bringing to policy formulation. We’ve been calling for this kind of attitude for many years, in recognition of New Zealand’s need for consistent, fair and reliable immigration policies. It’s gratifying to see long term perspectives finally being applied,” he adds.

Mr Milnes commends the government’s proposal for a single appeals body to replace the current four but adds that it’s important for all would-be migrants to have effective access to this body, including those who do not hold residence in NZ and who might not be able to access New Zealand Legal Aid.

He also praises the proposal to give immigration officials greater powers to make positive exceptions to policy in decisions on residence. However, he says, experience suggests that officials will need encouragement to use these powers, as they might otherwise shy away from using their initiative.

The New Zealand Association for Migration & Investment represents approximately 170 members throughout the country, including immigration and investment consultants, accountants, lawyers, banks, business specialists and financial advisers.

ENDS

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