Immigration officials consider easing visas for Huawei workers
Immigration New Zealand has agreed a deal with China Southern Airlines that allows visitors to have their visa applications fast tracked. The agreement was leaked causing embarrassment for Immigration Minister Nathan Guy. Darien Fenton, Labour’s spokeswoman for immigration, said a new deal regarding the employees of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei raised concerns over security.
Huawei has asked the New Zealand authorities to make it easier for its workers to enter the country. However, ministers are worried that doing this would open the borders to organized crime syndicates.
According to Steve Stuart, head of Immigration New Zealand, Huawei Technologies has asked for the usual employment and funds checks to be waived. He added that no decision had yet been made and that discussions were still at an early stage.
A warning was issued last month by an intelligence committee in the US because of a perceived security threat posed by the Chinese firm. The committee recommended that US firms work with other providers as credible accusations had been made that Huawei was involved in copyright infringement, discriminatory behaviour, corruption and bribery.
Huawei currently supplies technology to two out of three of the Government’s local fibre providers. The company also supplies equipment to Two Degrees, the mobile phone company. Labour has said it is worried that the firm’s presence could be a threat to security because dual use technology could be used to access and transmit sensitive material.
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