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February newsletter

Message from General Manager Sanjai Raj

Image of General Manager Sanjai RajI am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has appointed Catherine Albiston as the Registrar of Immigration Advisers. She has been acting in the role of Registrar of Immigration Advisers for a period of 10 months and has held an operational policy role at the Authority since 2009.

Catherine has a very high level of knowledge and understanding of the regulatory framework of the Authority and appreciation of the key challenges over the coming years. She is passionate about proactively working with the immigration adviser industry and other regulatory agencies to achieve better consumer outcomes through an intelligence-led approach

Message from Registrar Catherine Albiston

Image of Catherine Albiston, Registrar of Immigration AdvisersIt is a privilege to have been appointed in the Registrar’s role and I look forward to continuing to understand and respond better to the challenges we face.

My focus is to set licensing standards at the right level, to respond quickly and fairly to complaints, to respond effectively to unlicensed activity, and to continue to work together with advisers to achieve good outcomes for both consumers and advisers.

I am very pleased that we surpassed our target of clearing 80 per cent of the complaints backlog before Christmas. Ninety of 106 backlog complaints have now been completed. Since 1 July 2014, the Authority has referred a total of 54 complaints to the Tribunal and closed 49 others.

It has been a real team effort and a huge amount of hard work. We’ve learnt a lot and I know that our complaints processing will be much better in the future as a result.

2015 will see some significant developments and changes delivered. We will be rolling out a new online platform so you can lodge your licence applications online. The renewals process will be changed so that, unless you are inspected, your renewal will be akin to the current fast-track process. The Bay of Plenty Polytechnic will be developing a new Graduate Diploma to be delivered in 2016.

In this newsletter we are asking for your help. We need volunteers for our 2015 Reference Group, a Qualification Steering Group, and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic’s Graduate Diploma Development Team.

I look forward to meeting and working with many of you this year and I wish you all a very successful 2015.

Catherine Albiston, Registrar of Immigration Advisers

Be part of the Authority’s 2015 Reference Group

We are calling for expressions of interest to join the Authority’s 2015 Reference Group.

Reference group members may raise any issues they wish to discuss in this forum. This year the Reference Group will be a key touch point on the development of the Graduate Diploma, the introduction of the supervision for graduates, and the introduction of new CPD requirements among other things.

To increase our engagement with advisers, we will have five meetings this year – every second month from March.

You need to be available for each of the five full-day meetings on the following Thursdays:

12 March
14 May
9 July
10 September
12 November

We will select 10 licensed immigration advisers including an NZAMI representative and an NZAIP representative. We aim to have one offshore adviser. The group also includes an INZ representative and a consumer representative from the Office of Ethnic Affairs.

To register your interest, email us at info@iaa.govt.nz by 20 February 2014 outlining what you would bring to the group.

Read what was discussed by the 2014 group >>

Help develop the new Graduate Diploma

A group of people, with a thinking bubble above their headsFor the new Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice to be a success, we need experienced advisers to be part of its development.

We need experienced licensed immigration advisers to be part of:

The Steering Group will meet monthly from March and include licensed advisers, the Authority and the Polytechnic.

The Polytechnic is also seeking experienced advisers to join their development team part-time and/or short-term to work on the content development.

To volunteer to be on the Steering Group, email us at info@iaa.govt.nz by 20 February 2014 outlining what you would bring to the project.

To express interest in being part of the Polytechnic’s Development Team contact David Lyon david.lyon@boppoly.ac.nz by 20 February 2014 outlining what you would bring to the project and attach your CV.

Change at the Authority

The MartinJenkins and Associates Review of the Regulation of Immigration Advice in 2014 recommended (amongst other things) an opportunity for operational efficiencies at the Authority. In response to that recommendation the Ministry undertook an organisational review of the Authority.  MartinJenkins and Associates also completed this work.

The organisational review was completed at the end of September 2014 and it identified a number of areas within the Authority that are working well, but also highlighted opportunities for further improvement that have been carried through into agreed changes to a new operating model.

Key features of the new operating model are as follows:

Other Ministry staff who you may come into contact with and who will be working in partnership with Catherine Albiston in the management of the Authority are as follows:

  1. John Currie, Operations Manager
  2. Simon Thomas, Compliance and Enforcement Team Leader
  3. Philip Anderson, Occupational Licensing Team Leader
  4. Joanna Owen, Board Secretariat and Administration Team Leader

IAA online and changes to licensing standards

We are making good progress towards rolling out online licensing. Renewals will be the first application forms to be available online. Extending fast-track renewal to all advisers, coupled with an increased number of risk-based inspections, will be introduced at the same time. We will let you know as soon as we have a firm delivery date.

The Graduate Certificate will continue to be taught in 2015, but graduates from the July 2015 intake will be required to hold a provisional licence for two years before they can upgrade. Students from the February 2015 intake will be allowed to apply for a full licence on the basis that most enrolled in September 2014, well before the change was announced.

At this stage there is no implementation date for the CPD changes announced last year.

Further updates on each of these changes will be provided in our monthly newsletter.

Did you know, under the 2014 Code...?

Question mark image

19. A licensed immigration adviser must ensure that a written agreement contains:

  1. the name and licence number of any adviser who may provide immigration advice to the client
  2. where an adviser is representing the client, written authority from the client for the adviser to act on the client’s behalf

Read more about written agreements >>

Comings and goings

Melissa England (Team Leader Investigations) and Zoe Gilmore (PA/ Team Administrator) have both recently left the Authority. Melissa was with the Authority since its inception in 2008 and Zoe has been here since 2010. Both have made significant contributions to the work of the Authority and will be greatly missed. We wish you both the very best.

A number of fixed term and permanent staff have also left us recently, Kane Groat, Joei Mudaliar, Erika Farrell, Rebecca Rowsell, and Raminder Dhillon and our thanks go to them for all their work.

We welcome your feedback

Feedback image. How can we do better? Have we done a good job? Whatever the feedback, compliments or complaints, we want to hear from you.

Email us at info@iaa.govt.nz.