Wider Immigration probe

Ever since the “lie in unison” scandal it has been apparent not all has been well with the NZ Immigration Service. As more is revealed over the preferential treatment given to family members of the NZIS Head, the need for a full inquiry into NZIS grows.

Immigration staff were ordered by a senior official to override normal policies to process late residency applications by Kiribati family members of top immigration official Mary-Anne Thompson. …

In the report, former justice secretary David Oughton said he was concerned about a more widespread problem, saying staff told him the order to breach policy was “not an isolated case”.

Mr Oughton said that when staff were ordered to make decisions they felt breached policy, they wrote “as instructed by” to indicate they had not made the decision themselves.

And even worse:

“The report shows an official had the practice of going round the office until they found someone prepared to take the direction. The fact that staff said this was a reasonably common practice is very serious.”

That is amazing. How can Ministers not think such a culture is an issue?

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