6 Mar 2009

New Zealand Immigration Department scraps Pacific division

10:39 am on 6 March 2009

The New Zealand Immigration Department's troubled Pacific division will be scrapped after a damning Ernst and Young report found it lacked transparency, poor management and concerns over financial accountability.

The Minister of Immigration Jonathan Coleman says he wants the division reintergrated into the general service, and is calling for an independent advisor to be appointed to report to him on the Chief Executive's actions in relation to the Pacific Division and to monitor service performance.

Mr Coleman says the Pacific Division was the ill-conceived creation of the last Labour Government, set up by the former head of Immigration Mary Anne Thompson, who was later sacked over fraud and dishonesty charges.

Despite previous reports about the Pacific Division, he says the last government failed to take appropriate action and the mess described in this latest report is unacceptable.

The Auditor General is yet to release another report the "Inquiry into Matters Arising Out of Immigration New Zealand" shortly.