New Start, New Opportunities… uh, right…
Well it was probably long overdue. Having had the ‘pleasure’ of dealing with the Immigration Department on a number of occasions my experience was not pleasant – and I’m a ‘native’ New Zealander.
I suspect one of the problems with the Immigration Department is that the people it ‘serves’ are not tax paying residents. This seems to mean that any pretense at customer service that you would find at any other tax payer funded service, got discarded years ago.
The corruption allegations are not at all surprising, it’s surprising that it has taken so long. I raised this issue with the department in the 90’s, it was around Chinese Nationals being able to pay for visitors visa’s (USD2000 at the time). The only problem was that the department wouldn’t give ‘immunity’ to the Chinese immigrants who had paid for their visa’s, so of course, it never went any further. I got the distinct impression they knew what was going on, but had little interest in stamping it out.
The Immigration department is a national disgrace. No tax payer would accept the rude obstructive behaviour of officers, who may well have taken training in China as some of the bizarre advice and decisions could only emanate from a truly horrifying bureaucratic tradition that is alive and well in China and other communist countries.
This is the first experience new immigrants to NZ have of the country, and I have yet to find a single person who found it helpful or enjoyable. We are competing for quality immigrants globally, and it simply is not good enough to treat potential New Zealanders in such an off-hand way.
You come away from the experience wondering if in fact the goal is to discourage immigrants, because although the web site and literature provided makes it look like we want immigrants, the attitude a of officers is the opposite, often downright rude, convoluted and illogical service all combine to make one wish they could just pay a couple of grand to the officer as a back hander, just to get it over and done with.
Maybe the service needs to be privatised; given a mission statement, a target number and allow some companies to provide a proper service, rather than the corrupt sham we currently subject immigrants too. It surely couldn’t be any worse than what is currently on offer!