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New immigration department would be expensive

September 4, 2008
For Immediate Use

PSA says setting up new immigration department would be expensive

The Public Service Association questions the cost and value of National’s proposal to set up a new immigration department.

National released its immigration policy this afternoon. It wants to explore the possibility of establishing a stand-alone Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

“Setting up a new government department is extremely expensive and I can’t see what would be gained through such a major restructure,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

“It appears that National hasn’t thought this proposal through,” says Brenda Pilott.

The Auditor-General is currently carrying out a review of Immigration New Zealand after claims were made about the way the service is handling immigration applications.

“It makes more far sense to wait for that review to be completed before we look at restructuring immigration and spending a lot of money on setting up a new department,” says Brenda Pilott.

“One thing we do know is that the staff at Immigration New Zealand have a huge workload.”

“They’re struggling to meet the annual immigration targets set by the Government,” says Brenda Pilott.

The PSA understand the immigration staff had to process immigration applications for 45,000 immigrants for the financial year to the end of June.

“We’re being told that there simply aren’t enough immigration officers to meet that target,” says Brenda Pilott.

“National’s solution to this situation is to spend a lot of money on a new immigration department and to do this without adding any extra staff.”

“What we actually need is to ensure the immigration service has the staff it needs to do its job.”

“That means having enough staff to meet the immigration targets and ensure that migrants approved for residency meet all the requirements to live and work in New Zealand,” says Brenda Pilott.


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