16 May 2008

Review of New Zealand immigration service Pacific division underway

9:29 am on 16 May 2008

New Zealand's Department of Labour has announced a review of its Pacific immigration division, amid allegations of bribery and corruption.

The claims involve 19 staff members and relate to a period between 2004 and 2007.

The Pacific Division was set up by the former head of the Immigration Service, Mary Anne Thompson, who resigned earlier this week.

Christopher Blake, the Department of Labour's chief executive, says allegations of fraud, theft, unauthorised travel and failure to follow procedures will be dealt with thoroughly.

The Residence Review Board has already analysed 42 cases where the Pacific Division declined applications which were later approved.

It identified issues of fairness and natural justice, flawed procedures and failure to keep records.