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Min. Immigration Responds to NZAMI Legal Challenge

23rd December 2002 Statement

Minister of Immigration Responds to NZAMI Legal Challenge

Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel, today said that the interim injunction proceedings brought by the NZ Association of Migration & Investment (NZAMI) had been resolved as a result of an offer made by the NZ Immigration Service to defer decisions on relevant General Skills category applicants until 31 March 2003 or until the substantive proceedings had been determined by the High Court.

Lianne Dalziel further stated that it was the government’s intention to vigorously defend the NZAMI’s legal challenge to certain minor aspects of the immigration policy changes brought in on 20 November 2002.

“It is important to remember that these legal proceedings are not a challenge to the substantive changes made by government to residence and temporary entry immigration policies. Rather they are a challenge to the application of those changes to certain narrowly defined classes of persons who had other immigration applications outstanding as at 19 November 2002,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“The agreement reached today, simply places the relevant General Skills category applicants in a holding pattern, until the matters before the court are finally determined,” Lianne Dalziel said.

Lianne Dalziel denied that the changes to the Job Search Visa policy and also to future Entrepreneur Residence applications were retrospective.

“The Job Search Visa policy is simply unsustainable if we continue to invite people to come to New Zealand to search for a relevant job offer that we know, through research and experience, they would not achieve in the six months allowed by the visa, either due to insufficient English or having skills that are not in short supply in New Zealand,” Lianne Dalziel said.

Lianne Dalziel said that the review of the 1999 Business Immigration Policy was underway, and she invited NZAMI to direct its energies towards the development of strong business immigration policies for the benefit of New Zealand’s economic development and the successful settlement of business migrants, rather than focussing on minor aspects of the announced changes.

ENDS

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