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Minister attends NZ/Australia Immigration meeting

Minister to attend NZ/Australia Immigration meeting

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel will present a report on New Zealand's portfolio policy work and achievements to the New Zealand and Australian Ministerial Immigration Council in Sydney tomorrow, Friday, 20 April.

The annual meeting of Australian federal and state Immigration ministers, and the New Zealand Immigration Minister, will discuss immigration, settlement, citizenship, multicultural affairs, research, migrant settlement and refugee resettlement, and community input.

"One of the items on the agenda is presentation of the New Zealand report on policy and service delivery update," Lianne Dalziel said.

"This is a chance to be proud of the achievements we have made in New Zealand immigration policy. This includes:

- business and work policy, where we amended policy to encourage businesses and skilled migrants to come to New Zealand

- work that is well on track to produce enforceable standards for immigration consultants

- making the International English Language requirements fairer

- signing three new Working Holiday Schemes with Germany, Italy and Hong Kong

- work on promoting regional development, and what role immigration policy could play in that

"There are a number of others achievements such as the opening of a new NZIS branch in Bangkok; facilitating the entry of skilled workers; receiving more than $580 million worth in Investor Category applications in the first eight months of the current financial year; and more than 6000 people applying under the one-off regularisation policy for well-settled overstayers.

"I am looking forward to sharing our accomplishments with my Australian counterparts, and I am anticipate they will be eager to share their thoughts on the future direction of effective immigration policy for both sides of the Tasman."

Lianne Dalziel will spend three days in Sydney. As well as attending the Ministerial meeting, she will meet with Australian Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock and officials, the Pacific Islands Council and Samoan Advisory Council. She will also call on NZIS staff in Sydney, the Consul-General, the Australian Centre for Languages and the Children's Cochlear Implant Centre, in her capacity as Minister for Disability Issues.

ENDS

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