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Changes under way to rectify New Delhi problems

The integrity of New Zealand's immigration policy is being upheld and steps have been taken to rectify problems at the New Delhi branch of the New Zealand Immigration Service, the Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel, says.

In the last financial year, the Service received more than 500 residency applications and 5000 applications for temporary visas. The Immigration Service acknowledges the length of time it has taken to process some applications, but many delays are caused by the risk management procedures required.

In response to United MP Peter Dunne's calls for an inquiry into the New Delhi branch, Ms Dalziel said: "An inquiry is completely unwarranted. There are a number of changes envisaged as to how the Service will operate out of New Delhi. I am satisfied that swift progress will be made this year.

On February 14, Ms Dalziel met with officials from the Immigration Service. Among them was Alan Barry, the newly-appointed manager of the New Delhi office.

"From the time Mr Barry was appointed last September and before he took up his position in India only last week, he met with the Indian communities in New Zealand and electorate agents in Auckland to discuss their concerns.

"I am very satisfied with the approach that the new manager of the Delhi service is going to take and I am absolutely confident that some of the problems they have experienced there in the past will not be there in the future.

"I will continue to monitor the situation as I have done since I became Minister of Immigration, and if Mr Dunne wishes to present particular cases to my office, we will respond as quickly as we can, as we have done in the past," Ms Dalziel said.

Contact: Glenn Inwood 025 817 718

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