6 Mar 2009

Abolishing New Zealand's Pacific Immigration Division called shortsighted

4:10 pm on 6 March 2009

Some Pacific Community leaders in New Zealand say if the Immigration Department's Pacific Division is abolished following a highly critical report, the needs of Pacific peope will not be met.

The auditor general's report found the unit lacked transparency, poor management and their were concerns over financial accountability.

It said while the division was badly run it should be retained.

Samoan lawyer, Olinda Woodroffe, says its possible the division had to meet undisclosed agendas.

"It sounds to me that people were not given clear mandates so there for there was no clear direction, that's not their fault."

Olinda Woodroffe says the division did make some positive changes despite its shortcomings.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Immigration Jonathan Coleman says he wants the division reintergrated into the general service.