November 2019 Newsletter
Message from the Registrar
Tēnā koutou katoa,
We have recently had some disruption to the Auckland CBD with the fire at the SkyCity International Convention Centre. Unfortunately, given our city location we were unable to continue with the Licensed Adviser Reference Group Meeting in October.
I was planning to have a presentation from the team at MBIE who are leading a policy and operational review of the exploitation of temporary migrant workers in New Zealand, including international students. This is relevant to licensed advisers and many of your clients. Please see the article later in the newsletter including a link to the consultation and proposals – you have until 5pm, 27 November 2019 to provide feedback.
We held our webinar on supervision in October. All 2019 webinars are linked online for advisers to view at your convenience.
Our complaints team has designed a new resource aimed at informing complainants and advisers of the process we undertake when investigating complaints – there is a link to this later in the newsletter.
For those applying to upgrade your licence or applying under TTMRA, either initial provisional or re-apply applications; payment of fees for paper-based application forms will need to be made through the Service Centre as our online portal is not able to handle this transaction. I apologise in advance for this inconvenience. We are working to upgrade the system for licensing however this is taking longer than we had anticipated.
Keep well and keep our standards high.
Registrar of Immigration Advisers
The IAA requires all New Zealand licensed advisers, including those who are Registered Migration Agents in Australia, to attend one webinar run by the IAA in 2019. You may count watching a recording of a seminar or other training session towards your CPD hours where that session includes interaction such as questions and answers. However, we do recommend that to get the most value from this activity you get together with at least one other adviser so that you can discuss the content.
To view a webinar, you are required to register your name and email address. Please take a screenshot of your completed registration page for your CPD record before you click “submit”. We are able to verify that you have viewed the recording once you register.
October webinar: Supervision
Supervision of provisional licensees is a requirement under the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards 2016. Toi Ohomai recently undertook research into Supervision within the licensing scheme and we had a thorough report on the findings.
We looked at:
- the background and rationale for supervision
- supervision agreements
- supervision records
- when things go wrong
- the potential review of competency standards.
Addressing the exploitation of temporary migrant workers
MBIE is leading a policy and operational review of the exploitation of temporary migrant workers in New Zealand, including international students. The goal is to allow people in New Zealand to be in safe and fulfilling work, and all businesses to operate with confidence on a level playing field.
MBIE is currently seeking feedback on 10 proposals which will help:
- prevent migrant worker exploitation. These proposals are aimed at making changes to promote compliance and good employment practices, without adding compliance costs for law-abiding businesses.
- protect migrant workers. These proposals are aimed at removing barriers to reporting and referral and enabling migrant workers to leave employers who exploit them.
- enforce appropriate working conditions and immigration obligations. These proposals are designed to make sure MBIE has the tools to take action against exploitation, and to discourage employers from exploiting migrants.
Please submit your feedback on the proposals through the link below, and share with your networks who may be interested in this work. Feedback is due by 5pm, 27 November.
IAA in the media
Timothy Joseph Spooner has been sentenced to 4 months home detention and ordered to pay $7050 reparation to victims following his guilty plea in May to five charges laid by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) for providing advice to immigrants when neither licensed nor exempt.
In a recently issued Tribunal decision INZ (Calder) v Chiv  NZIACDT 73, a couple of unique breaches of the Code of Conduct were upheld.
Alongside more common breaches relating to the practice of “rubber stamping”, the adviser was also found to have breached clause 4(a) of the Code of Conduct by failing to preserve the confidentiality of clients. This breach was the result of including multiple clients in emails that provided a range of information, including material specific to each client. The Tribunal noted: “This is obviously a breach of each client’s confidentiality. Unless the clients all provided written consent to disclosures being made to other named clients, [the adviser] is not even permitted to disclose to a client the name of any other client, let alone any details of their applications or circumstances”.
A breach of clause 1 of the Code of Conduct was also upheld, as the adviser failed to give clients the opportunity to review draft visa applications before lodging them with INZ. The Tribunal noted: “The Code clearly contemplates, and the Competency Standards expressly require, that an adviser will provide accurate information to Immigration New Zealand in applications. This requires the careful review by the adviser of information provided by the client. But it also requires the adviser to give the client the opportunity of personally reviewing the draft of any application”.
New decisions are appearing regularly and I encourage you to save the following link as a bookmark.