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Meeting with Australian counterpart very positive

The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel, said today her meeting with Australian counterpart Philip Ruddock and his parliamentary secretary Senator Kay Patterson was very positive.

"It's great to see the Australian Minister of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs here so early in the life of this coalition Government," Lianne Dalziel said. "It was a good opportunity to outline the direction this Government is heading in terms of Immigration, especially in respect of migrant settlement and refugee resettlement."

Lianne Dalziel told Mr Ruddock that New Zealand would be focussing its efforts on achieving positive settlement outcomes for migrants and refugees.

"Because a range of agencies are responsible for different components of settlement policy (for example, employment, business investment opportunities, ESOL learning and community integration), there is a need to provide an integrated oversight mechanism within Government to ensure the best outcomes," she said.

"The previous National-led Government placed far too much emphasis on the number of people coming across our border and not enough emphasis on making sure those people were well settled into our country."

Lianne Dalziel also took the opportunity to seek advice from her Australian counterparts in terms of their experience of industry self-regulation with respect to immigration consultants. They have undertaken to provide information about their experience, which has been in place for almost three years.

Lianne Dalziel said Mr Ruddock was also keen to see New Zealand and Australia continue to work together in international fora with respect to people trafficking and irregular migrants. "Although Australia has borne the brunt of seaborne illegal arrivals, I believe it is important that we work with Australia to address what is an international problem.

"New Zealand has a very special relationship with Australia. It is our trans-Tasman cousin, and I see visits like this as an opportunity to strengthen and build on that relationship," Lianne Dalziel said.

ENDS

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