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New immigration appeals body kicks-off

Hon Georgina te Heuheu

Minister for Courts

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Immigration

26 November 2010

Media Statement

New immigration appeals body kicks-off

Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu and Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman today welcomed the swearing in of 16 members of the new Immigration and Protection Tribunal (IPT) in Auckland.

The IPT commences work on Monday, 29 November and will decide all immigration, deportation, refugee and protection appeals in New Zealand.

Established under the Immigration Act 2009, the IPT replaces the current immigration-related appeal bodies and creates a single, ‘one-stop-shop’ tribunal to consider all grounds for appeal in one place.

‘’The IPT will enhance the public’s perception of the tribunal as a body independent of government decision making and immigration policy,’’ says Mrs te Heuheu.

Previously, immigration appeals were heard by four separate appeal bodies, three of which were administered by the Department of Labour: the Removal Review Authority (RRA), the Residence Review Board (RRB), the Refugee Status Appeals Authority (RSAA), and the Deportation Review Tribunal (DRT). The IPT will now be administered by the Ministry of Justice.

‘’The new tribunal will streamline the immigration and appeal process as there is now one body to hear all grounds for appeal,’’ says Dr Coleman.

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‘’The 16 members appointed bring a high level of expertise and experience in immigration law and the tribunal will play a vital role in New Zealand fulfilling its international obligations.’’

The IPT will be chaired by Judge Bill Hastings.

The 16 appointees are:

Sharelle Aitchison LLM BA - currently a part-time member of the RSAA. Ms Aitchison has practised in the areas of refugee, human rights, and criminal law in New Zealand and overseas.

Bruce Burson MPP LLB (Hons) - appointed to the RSAA in 2003. Mr Burson has worked in immigration law in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Annabel Clayton LLB - a member of the DRT since 2007. Ms Clayton is also an experienced RRA and RRB member.

Bridget Dingle LLM (1st class honours) - a member of the RSAA since 2005. Ms Dingle has worked for the Ministry of Justice and the Human Rights Commission.

Jeanne Donald LLM - a current member of the RRB and the RRA. Ms Donald is an Auckland lawyer.

Peter Fuiava LLM (Hons) BA/LLB - Mr Fuiava is a sole practitioner, duty solicitor at Manukau District Court, and a Disputes Tribunal Referee.

Denese Henare ONZM LLB - a current member of the RSAA. Ms Henare has 35 years' experience in the law in different capacities: as a commercial solicitor, a practitioner in private practice, and in policy development and law reform in the public sector.

Allan Mackey MBA LLB - current chair of the RSAA and former chair of the RRA. Mr Mackey was appointed as an immigration judge of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (UK) in 2005. He was involved in the early development of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges and has been a trainer on refugee determination for numerous workshops internationally.

Louise Moor LLM BA - a legal associate for the RSAA from 2001-03. Ms Moor was most recently a researcher and legal adviser in the Refugee and Migrants' Rights team at Amnesty International based in London.

Sharon Pearson LLB (1st class honours) PGDip Guidance & Counselling PGDip Arts (Hons) BA DipEd Dip Tchg - currently a member of the RRB and the RRA. Ms Pearson is also a former Disputes Tribunal Referee.

David Plunkett MA LLB (Hons) BSc - current chair of the RRA and RRB, and presiding member of the DRT. Mr Plunkett has practised in New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Melissa Poole LLM - a member of the RRB since 1999, and appointed to the RRA in July 2005. Ms Poole was a senior law lecturer and former deputy director at Victoria University's New Zealand Institute of Public Law.

Virginia Shaw MA LLB BA - a current member of the RRA and former member of the RSAA. Ms Shaw works as a part-time criminal prosecutor in Hamilton and is heavily involved with local community groups.

Graham Taylor PhD LLM (1st class honours) - Mr Taylor has experience in private legal practice, government, regulatory authority, and universities, in New Zealand and overseas.

Martin Treadwell LLB - a member of the RSAA, RRB and RRA, and deputy presiding member of the DRT. Mr Treadwell has experience across a wide variety of legal fields, particularly immigration and administrative law.

Veronique Vervoort MA LLB BA - a current member of the RRB and the RRA. Ms Vervoort is a former lawyer.

ENDS

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