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January 2020 Newsletter

Message from the Registrar

Tēnā koutou katoa,

I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year’s break with your family and friends.

My name is Simon van Weeghel and for the next few months I’m stepping into the role of Registrar of Immigration Advisers.

I’ve been with the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) for several years now and most recently held the role of Senior Investigator (licensed adviser complaints). Before this, I worked in various roles for the New Zealand Customs Service and Aviation Security Service, including six years at Auckland Airport where I worked closely with Immigration New Zealand to identify non-compliance at the border.

I’d like to take a moment to thank Andrew Galloway for his time as Registrar. The feedback I’ve received from the industry shows that he was well-liked and highly regarded in the role, and we at the IAA will also miss his leadership. I wish him all the best in his new role as Operations Manager Border for Immigration New Zealand.

It will be business as usual at the IAA while a full recruitment process is undertaken for a permanent Registrar, and the work programme Andrew developed with many of you will be continued.

In other news, we are currently taking applications for the 2020 Licensed Adviser Reference Group, but be quick as the closing date for applications is 30 January 2020. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to give feedback and have input into the IAA’s work and licensing regime. The Reference Group is held at our office in Auckland, and the IAA will cover domestic travel costs within New Zealand for successful applicants. Please see below for further information.

I look forward to meeting many of you in the months ahead at industry events, and will also organise some one-on-one meetings to better understand the challenges the industry faces and how the IAA could potentially improve its service.

In the meantime, keep up the great work and professionalism.

Ngā mihi

Simon van Weeghel

Acting Registrar of Immigration Advisers

portrait simon van weeghel

Join the 2020 Licensed Immigration Adviser Reference Group

We are calling for expressions of interest from licensed immigration advisers to join the Authority’s 2020 Reference Group, to be held in Auckland.

The purpose of the Licensed Advisers Reference Group is to help immigration adviser licensing to work better for advisers through their regular input.

We will select licensed immigration advisers from across the licensed adviser community.  Immigration New Zealand representative(s) and other invitees may also attend the meetings.

The Authority will cover the New Zealand travel costs for advisers, but not any international travel costs.

Those in New Zealand need to commit to each of the four meetings on the following Wednesdays from 10.15am – 3:00pm:

  • Wednesday 25 March 2020
  • Wednesday 27 May 2020
  • Wednesday 26 August 2020
  • Wednesday 28 October 2020.

To register your interest, please email us at info@iaa.govt.nz by 30 January 2020 with “Reference Group” in the subject line. You may include a cover letter (or include in the email) identifying how you might meet the following criteria. In your email please also tell us:

  • if you are in New Zealand, that you are available for and committed to attending each meeting
  • if you are offshore, which meetings you could attend in person
  • where you are located
  • the size of the business you work for
  • what areas of immigration you mainly work in
  • what current issues relating to the Authority’s work you are interested in discussing.

A terms of reference for the group is available here [PDF, 38 KB]

In considering reference group membership, the IAA will use the following criteria as a guide.

Criterion Group Composition
Relevance of technical skills and knowledge Membership will reflect the specialist technical skills and knowledge required to support the reference group
Personal attributes Members should have good team work, listening, and problem solving skills, be results-oriented and open-minded (i.e. informed but not constrained by past experiences and current ways of working).
Experience and Credibility It is essential that the Group be respected as being capable of delivering high quality advice, and that individual members are seen as being capable of making a positive contribution. Consequently, a good track record/reputation is important.
Links into relevant initiatives Where appropriate, the Group will include members with connections into other relevant initiatives to identify potential synergies, avoid duplication of effort, and share/build expertise.
Time and ability to contribute To provide assurance of their ability to make time available to contribute, members must be able to commit to the schedule of meetings.
No detrimental conflicts of interest Conflicts of interest will be managed by way of disclosure. It is essential that members do not have any conflicts of interest that may interfere with their ability to contribute objectively.


Numbers of Licensed Immigration Advisers

The numbers of practising licensed immigration advisers has remained relatively stable over the past few years.  As at 13 January 2020, there were 1,161 licensed immigration advisers (including provisional licence holders) of which approximately 24% were based offshore.

Financial Year Number of licensed advisers
2018-19 1,128
2017-18 1,072
2016-17 1,047
2015-16 1,088

Toolkits available on IAA website

The IAA receives many enquiries from licensed advisers regarding their professional obligations and licensing matters, and we have a number of toolkits available publically on the IAA website that we regularly use to answer these queries.

The toolkits cover matters such as supervision, licensing, the Code of Conduct, continuing professional development, and ethics. They are a very useful resource as they go into depth on each topic, and are updated on a regular basis.

Tribunal decisions

There have been several complaints upheld recently by the Immigration Advisers Complaints & Disciplinary Tribunal, which included breaches of clause 18(a) of the Code of Conduct related to providing clients with a written agreement for services.

In NLT v Coetzee [2019] NZIACDT 81 the Tribunal stated: “…the lack of a written agreement is not a mere technicality… it deprived the complainant of knowledge of the very framework that exists to protect him. It is a vital document… in the provision of immigration services and in upholding the integrity of the industry”.

In TI(G)M v Hanning [2020] NZIACDT 1 the Tribunal stated: “…The obligation to have a written agreement complying with the Code is important. It sets out essential information for the client. It protects not just the client, but also the adviser…”.

New decisions are appearing regularly and you are encouraged to save the following link as a bookmark.

Read recent Tribunal decisions on the Justice website.(external link)