Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Dalziel's Humanitarian Approach To Policy

Dalziel's Humanitarian Approach To Hard-Line Policy


Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said today that recently announced changes to immigration policy offered an effective and humanitarian solution to New Zealand's overstayer problem.

The policy was made for a range of humanitarian, social and economic reasons that were necessary to correct years of failed immigration policy in this area, the Minister said.

Lianne Dalziel was commenting on the release, under the Official Information Act, of departmental papers on the changes to immigration policy.

"When I announced the one-off opportunity for well-settled overstayers to have their status regularised, I made it clear then that this was a realistic and fair way to clean the slate ahead of tougher new immigration laws.

"Without this one-off regularisation, we would have been compelled to forcibly separate families - taking husbands from wives, parents from their children - despite the fact they were well-settled, contributing members of society. This government is not in the business of wrenching families apart.

"The papers make it clear that the overstaying problem cannot be eliminated entirely. The costs incurred reflect the need to correct poor policy and unworkable decisions of the past that ignored the contributions being made by overstayers who were well-settled, paying taxes, and otherwise law abiding with strong family connections in New Zealand.

"The costs will not impact upon the GAPS programme given its size and scope. Indeed areas such as health and housing, having the status of well-settled overstayers regularised, may well reduce costs.



"This government's decision to count these people as part of the immigration target means that the policy could cost at most, $12.471 million over four years, however that amount ignores the fact that people who claim benefits during the two year period of the Transitional Policy will not be eligible for residence.

"In fact, the costs are small when considering the benefits to the communities and families of well-settled people. In introducing this measure, I also took into account that only a small number – between 5,700 and 7,700 - of the total number of overstayers would fall into the well-settled category.
"The transitional provisions allow overstayers up until 30 March 2001 to lodge applications for a two-year work permit and only after that period can they seek permanent residence in New Zealand.

"This means that successful applicants will be self-supporting and not on benefits. The people we are talking about here are making real contributions to New Zealand.

"The previous Government made one step towards resolving the overstayer issue with its 1991 Transitional Policy which was not accompanied by a tougher removal regime. Now we have a tougher removal regime, it has to be accompanied by a consideration of well-settled overstayers. It's the combination of the two policies that will effective," Lianne Dalziel said.

"The decision to count those who qualify under the Transitional Policy as part of the immigration target for the year they acquire residence, does not mean that a reduction is to be made in overall targets. Skilled people are coming to New Zealand in increasing numbers.

"The policy has received overwhelming support from a range of community and church leaders.

"The next step is the development of a systematic removals process which will ensure that we don't have a build up of well-settled overstayers in the future.

"In particular, I have asked my officials to look at strengthening sponsors' obligations and the responsibilities of employers to ensure they are not employing overstayers."

Ends


Note: Copies of released documents available on request.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Detail Released: Firearms Buy-Back Scheme "Strikes Fair Balance"

Licensed firearms owners will get fair compensation for weapons handed in during the six-month buy-back and amnesty, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Police Minister Stuart Nash announced today.

The fund available for the buy-back and amnesty has also increased by $40 million through a contribution from ACC. The total set aside for the scheme is now over $200 million. More>>

 

2020 Election Changes: Same Day Enrolment, Supermarket Voting

New Zealand’s democracy is to be enhanced, with voters gaining the right to enrol on election day at next year’s general election and allowing ballot boxes to be placed in supermarkets and malls to make it easier for people to vote, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. More>>

ALSO:

"Population Density": Stats NZ, Phone Companies To Track People's Movements

Stats NZ is partnering with cellphone companies to launch a new way of tracking people's movements every hour. More>>

ALSO:

QS University Rankings: NZ Ranks Well "Despite Resourcing Constraints"

New Zealand universities continue to do well in international rankings, with the release of the 2020 QS world rankings showing that all eight universities remain in the world’s top 500. More>>

ALSO:

Mosque Attacks: 21 Month Prison Sentence For Sharing Live Stream Video

A Christchurch man who admitted redistributing the livestream video of the mosque killings has been sentenced to 21 months in prison. More>>

ALSO:

Operation Burnham Inquiry: Afghan Villagers Pull Out

The Afghan villagers involved with the inquiry into Operation Burnham say they have lost faith in the process and will no longer take part. More>>

ALSO:

Child 'Uplifts': Children’s Commissioner To Conduct Review

“At the time of the attempted uplift from Hawke’s Bay Maternity Hospital at the beginning of May, our Office shared our views on the critical importance of the mother-child relationship, and the fact that this relationship is denied to too many Māori children”, says the Children’s Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels