New Zealand’s immigration department has published its new plan for improving its operations over the next three years in a document entitled Vision for 2015.
Immigration Minister Nathan Guy said major improvements have already taken place in terms of decision making and client satisfaction and the aim is to streamline the number of visa types and simplify the application process.
‘Immigration New Zealand has put a lot of hard work into winning back the confidence and trust of the public and the Government. This plan is an important step towards building on these achievements,’ he explained.
‘Major improvements have taken place under a National-led Government. The department now makes around 500,000 visa decisions a year, and the quality and timeliness of decision making has greatly improved, along with employer and client satisfaction levels. In future there will be fewer visa types and application processes will be simplified, resulting in a better service for customers,’ he added.
He said that an example of this is the new Immigration Global Management System (IGMS), which was approved by Cabinet just before Christmas. This $75 million investment will allow more visas to be applied for online and Guy called it a good example of the public sector using technology to deliver more efficient services.
‘Potential changes to the branch network around the world will also be looked at as part of a drive to bring down the cost of delivering services. Immigration makes a major contribution to New Zealand’s economy. New migrants add an estimated $1.9 billion to our GDP every year, international students contribute $2.3 billion, and inbound tourists around $9 billion,’ he pointed out.
‘We are competing with other developed countries for the same pool of potential migrants, students and visitors. This is why we need to improve how we operate,’ he added.