NZ bureaucrats breaking law by hiding visa decisions
Orders to immigration officials to not record information in an attempt to evade judicial reviews and more paperwork have left civil libertarians outraged, leading them to calling it a measured attempt to dodge accountability.
The Immigration New Zealand order to staff relates to section 61 of the Immigration Act, which permits the Immigration Minister to give a visa to any person who is illegally in New Zealand but not under a deportation order, reports the New Zealand Herald.
This power is given to officials of Immigration NZ and conclusions can be reviewed by the Ombudsman. In November 2011 Immigration NZ ordered employees not to record any reasons in all cases relating to section 61, including the ones that are not considered, as well as those that are considered and either accepted or declined.
Emails from the Department that were made public under the Official Information Act and published on the left-leaning blog website No Right Turn show the instructions were issued to decrease the workload and dodge the possibility of complaints.
Immigration NZ business analyst Kathy Tait said that the resolutions officers believe that including rationale leaves them open to judicial review and complaints to the ombudsman.
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