3 Oct 2012

Immigration admits failings Pacific migrant support

4:55 pm on 3 October 2012

Immigration New Zealand says it is well aware of gaps in its settlement support for Pacific immigrants and is trying to fix them.

Migrant support groups say the service is ignoring the basic needs of Pacific immigrants who struggle to integrate into New Zealand life as a result.

Auckland Tongan Advisory Council chairman Melino Maka says settlement support services are focused on non-Pacific immigrants, and the Tongan community, for one, is fed up with picking up the slack.

Melino Maka says a fair share of levies paid by Pacific migrants to fund settlement support should go into services provided by Pacific groups.

Immigration New Zealand national settlement manager Judi Altinkaya says a review shows Pacific immigrants are not well-informed before they arrive in New Zealand and can get wrong information here.

She says Immigration New Zealand has produced a new settlement guide in Pacific languages and a DVD of interviews with people who've already made the move, and is holding settlement seminars with Pacific communities in New Zealand.