September 2019 Newsletter
Message from the Registrar
Tēnā koutou katoa,
It is nice to see the start of spring, some slightly longer days, but save for a couple of days of good weather the rain continues to fall. Roll on summer.
The last month has been busy. I really enjoyed the NZAMI conference and in particular the amount of licensed advisers I was able to connect with. I am really impressed with the quality of licensed advisers and welcome invitations to meet with you – or at events such as this please continue to come and introduce yourself.
As well as the weather talk, the other consistent feature that appears in the national conversation is the heightened activity in relation to migrant exploitation. Government has directed the commissioning of in-depth research on temporary migrant worker exploitation in New Zealand(external link). The results and discussion on this will emerge in the coming months.
As licensed advisers, you are in an important position to be able to see and report this activity, and also you can assist in the prevention of it. Later in the newsletter there is some information about free online e-learning modules that Employment New Zealand have developed so that employers and employees can be better informed about employment standards in New Zealand.
As a conduit between employers and migrants, you can have a proactive role to ensure both sides are aware of the standards required in New Zealand and the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. I have undertaken some of the e-learning modules and they are quick to complete and informed me of a few things I didn’t know had changed. I encourage you to take up the opportunity to learn more – you can count these as CPD!
Occasionally we get referrals from licensed advisers who know of migrants who are allegedly being exploited. In addition to any action we can take, we quickly refer these where other agencies have an interest and a role In some cases licensed advisers have played an integral part reassuring a migrant that they are ‘safe’ to report this information to authorities. I commend those advisers that have been proactive in this space. If you know of someone in this position, please reach out and encourage them to report exploitation.
Anyone who believes that are being exploited in the workplace should contact MBIE’s Immigration New Zealand on 0508 558 855 or the Labour Inspectorate on 0800 20 90 20, where their concerns will be handled in a safe environment.
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 have recently undertaken research into Supervision within the licensed advisers scheme, and will give a report on the findings.
We will also look at:
- the background and rationale for supervision
- supervision agreements
- supervision records
- when things go wrong
- the planned review of competency standards.
Joining me for the discussion we are delighted to have Appley Boyd from Toi Ohomai and Anastasia Sherry from the Immigration Advisers Authority.
Last webinar: Wellbeing working for you and your clients
Tracey Sparksman has over 10 years of experience working for the Mental Health Foundation of NZ, most recently developing and delivering workplace wellbeing session within ACC and Auckland Council.
Tracey took us through a reflective session where we explored what wellbeing looks like for each of us and how we can build on the elements of our lives to help keep us well. Reflecting on what it looks like when things are tough going and how we can offer support to others when we sense they aren't having the best time. The lessons from this webinar can be equally applied to you and your teams, but also your clients.
Future webinars: Written agreements / AML compliance
We are developing webinars on written agreements and I am in touch with people at the Department of Internal Affairs to arrange a webinar on compliance with AML rules. I hope to have these available for registration in the next newsletter.
Employment Learning Modules
Employment New Zealand have developed free online Employment Learning Modules(external link).
Two sets of modules are available for you and your clients – covering the needs of both employers and employees.
Each audience type can access modules covering 7 subjects tailored for their needs, which are listed below in the recommended order for completion:
- Employment Agreements
- Working Arrangements
- Annual Holidays (Leave)
- Other leave
- Pay and Wages
- Hours of Work
- Resolving Problems.
The modules are free, interactive and engaging. Handy features of this learning package include your own online dashboard, fact-sheets and you also get a certificate of completion.
Note: There will also be a new entry-level module – An introduction to your employment rights (designed for migrants) that will be launched in English and five translated languages: Simplified Chinese, Hindi, Samoan, Tagalog and Korean. We will update you with more details once it is launched.
Not-for-profit scholarship – Toi Ohomai
The Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology is offering one scholarship each year for a student of the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice (Graduate Diploma) who intends to provide New Zealand immigration advice on a not-for-profit basis while working or volunteering for a not-for-profit organisation in New Zealand.
The scholarship will cover the student’s domestic tuition fees for one year for the Graduate Diploma. Before applying to the Toi Ohomai for the scholarship, the applicant must have their not-for-profit status pre-approved by the Authority.
Applicants wishing to apply for a scholarship must apply to the Authority for pre-approval. The Authority will undertake to assess this pre-approval within two months, only where all information requested is provided upfront.
In a recent decision the Tribunal has addressed the issue of whether the Code of Conduct applies only to interactions with clients, or extends to other stakeholders such as Immigration New Zealand (INZ).
In INZ (Calder) v Tian  NZIACDT 58 the Tribunal upheld several breaches in the original complaint, including that the immigration adviser was unprofessional and disrespectful in their correspondence with INZ.
The Tribunal determined that while the client was the main focus, the Code of Conduct extended to the adviser’s interactions with INZ: “… the primary focus of the professional obligations is the relationship between the adviser and the client. The purpose of the Act is to protect the interests of consumers receiving immigration advice.  Nonetheless, the Act provides that a code of conduct and competency standards must be developed and maintained to set standards of professional and ethical conduct, including an adviser's obligations to Immigration New Zealand. As the Code and competency standards make clear, persons other than the client must also be treated professionally and with respect. This includes the staff of Immigration New Zealand”.
New decisions are appearing regularly and I encourage you to save the following link as a bookmark.