More free speech under attack from Immigration Act

I think the Government is making a mistake by not conceding the law (passed by its predecessor) needs changing. The Herald reports:

The Advisers Authority has issued 18 warning letters to people it says are breaching the Advisers Licensing Act since it became law on May 4.

But a director of a defunct migrant workers support centre which received a warning says the authority is using the act to “attack migrant support services” rather than police dodgy immigration advisers. …

Mike Bell said he was forced to close the Skilled Migrant Resource Centre, a registered charity which operated as a drop-in support centre for skilled migrants, after being served a letter from the authority’s solicitor in July.

“I was told the reason I was sent the warning letter was because of my appearance on a TV3 news report where I apparently presented myself as an immigration adviser,” he said.

“Being served a notice like this, with up to seven years’ jail as a penalty, I took it very seriously.
“As a result, New Zealand’s only dedicated facility for skilled migrants was closed down.


Registrar Barry Smedts denied that the legislation was being used to target non-advisers, but would not say how many of the warning letters had been issued to unlicensed fee-charging advisers.

“The act is in place to protect migrants from poor advice from would-be experts. Forewarning letters have been sent to individuals whose activities appear to breach the act,” Mr Smedts said.

And this is the wrong focus. The focus should be to protect migrants from scamsters who offer a commercial service to assist people with gaining residency or work permits. By claiming their job is to protect against poor advice, suggest the Govt is guaranteeing all advice given will be “good”. I think most people can understand the difference between advice on a blogsite, or someone giving opinions on a TV interview, and a professional immigration advisor.

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