Immigration New Zealand needs another shake-up

Venkat Raman – 

The decision of Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse to suspend the decision-making powers of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) on deportation of foreigners has been welcomed by many members of the community but there are also views that it is an opportune moment for the Minister to consider a total review of the functioning of the department.

The suspension, issued on Monday, April 24, 2017, is temporary, just for a fortnight (A related story appears under Businesslink in this issue).

Wrong Approach

An increasing number of small businesses owned and managed by people of Indian origin believe that INZ treats all of them with contempt and suspicion.

Restaurants are among the worst-affected businesses in this allegedly ‘repugnant attitude’ of the INZ officials. Delays in processing work permit visas, refusal to renew them when due and worse, not responding to requests for updates are among the complaints that we often hear from affected people.

“INZ officials think that all Indian businesses exploit migrant workers, misuse and abuse international students and routinely make them work long hours and underpay them. This is not true. Even after we have shown them our books of accounts and even after they have learnt from Inland Revenue Department (IRD) that we have a clean record, INZ officials withhold decisions on issue and renewal of work permits. We have lost at least three good chefs in the last two months,” two restauranteurs told Indian Newslink.

Worrying Trend

Unnecessary harassment of applicants by INZ officials continue to worry potential immigrants and New Zealand residents seeking their services. The need for a thorough shake-up of the Department is therefore more pronounced now than ever before.

Indian Newslink will continue to bring into focus erring employers and unhealthy practices that they perpetrate, not only to promote public interest but also the image of New Zealand as a fair and corruption-free destination for immigrants.

We make no apology for raising the issue from time to time.

Photo: Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse

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