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Profile sees NZIS applications fast tracked

Dr Wayne Mapp
National Immigration Spokesman and
Pansy Wong, National MP

31 March 2004

Publicity and profile see NZIS applications fast tracked

The fast tracking of NZIS applications after intervention by a leading law firm and the media is a disturbing sign of the culture of the NZIS, say National Members of Parliament, Dr Wayne Mapp and Pansy Wong.

A Christchurch nurse, seeking residency for her Scottish husband, was outraged to hear that the residency of entertainer Michael Barrymore had been fast tracked. Her approaches to her local MP and the Immigration Service were fruitless so she approached the media.

After her story went to print the woman was approached by Mr Barrymore's lawyer who offered his services free of charge. The lawyer met with the NZIS within an hour of the approach and, as a result, her husband's work permit is likely to be extended.

"What kind of message is the NZIS sending to potential migrants?" asks Dr Mapp and Mrs Wong.

"If this case is anything to go by, publicity and media intervention is the fastest way to secure residency," says Dr Mapp.

"Clearly the service has learnt nothing from the Ombudsmen's report into the 'lie in unison' fiasco.

"If the new Immigration Minister is serious about turning around the culture of the NZIS he must conduct an urgent inquiry and reassure the public of the integrity and fairness of the system," say the National MPs.

Ends

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