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Auditor General’s immigration report a wake-up call

Auditor General’s immigration report a wake-up call

The Auditor General’s report on Immigration New Zealand’s role in supporting new migrants to settle and work is a wake-up call for Immigration New Zealand, according to Multicultural New Zealand, the Federation of Multicultural Councils.

The report finds serious shortcomings in the governance of the government’s settlement strategy, a lack of cooperation between government agencies, inadequate use of existing resources, insufficient monitoring, and poor evaluation and monitoring frameworks.

It says that Immigration New Zealand has “narrowly interpreted its role in coordinating the governance of settlement support throughout government” and sees this as a “missed opportunity.”

The report recommends an improved settlement governance structure and approach, better coordination of government agencies involved in settlement support, monitoring and review of the governance structure, and better evaluation and monitoring frameworks and outcome reporting.

It calls for continued improvement in the information provided to potential migrants, better targeting of resources to overcome known barriers to employment, and the extension of services such as job search and English language training to secondary skilled migrants and temporary work visa holders.

“Multicultural New Zealand welcomes the Auditor General’s report and calls on Government to implement the recommendations in the time frames proposed” President Tayo Agunlejika says. “We are particularly pleased that the needs of secondary skilled workers (family of the principal applicant) and workers on temporary permits are recognised.”

Mr Agunlejika also welcomed the call for a greater focus on leadership of the Settlement Strategy and coordination of the contributions from various government agencies. “The government’s settlement strategy and the Auckland and Wellington regional strategies were introduced some years ago with a lot of fanfare, but commitment to them is shown to have lagged over the years. There is a need for renewed effort with an updated strategy and clear leadership” he said.

“Our constituent multicultural councils have been concerned at the reduction in settlement support services at the local level, such as cutbacks to the Settling In Programme operated by MSD’s Family and Community Services, and planned changes to local settlement support services provided by Immigration New Zealand. These tend to reduce the resources available to local communities to support not just employment outcomes but also social outcomes for new migrants in terms of participation in the community.”

“It is vital that regional settlement strategies are developed for all regions in addition to refreshing the national strategy and Auckland and Wellington regional strategies, so that coordinated services are available in local communities.”

Read the full report here: http://www.oag.govt.nz/2013/new-migrants

www.nzfmc.org.nz

ENDS

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