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Fraud rife at the Immigration Service

Dr Wayne Mapp MP
National Party Immigration Spokesman

05 August 2004

Fraud rife at the Immigration Service

National Party Immigration spokesman Wayne Mapp is questioning whether the Government learnt anything from the 'lying in unison fiasco', given the number of fraud allegations levelled at Immigration Service staff.

There are 30 investigations involving staff fraud currently underway in the service from the 2003/2004 financial year. Three more investigations have been launched after allegations made this financial year.

"The Minister should be asking serious questions about the culture at the NZIS, when three internal fraud inquiries are launched in a month. "Nearly two years on from the 'lying in unison' saga, it seems that the department is still suffering from severe systemic problems," says Dr Mapp.

Between 2001 and 2003 there were 78 allegations of fraud involving 49 employees of the NZIS. Twenty-one were substantiated and 17 are still being investigated.

"It is clear the staff at NZIS needed a new direction when the previous Minister was sacrificed for telling public mistruths. The new Minister now has to work even harder to restore public confidence in the department.

"The Immigration Service does a hugely important job on behalf of the public of New Zealand.

"It is responsible for ensuring we attract the migrants that we need for economic growth, and it also needs to be a vigilant watchdog.

"With such a large number of serious allegations swirling around NZIS staff, the Minister must be asking if they're really up to the job," says Dr Mapp.

Ends

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