The New Zealand Herald recently highlighted a current delay by the NZ Police in producing police checks. The story pointed out that this has created problems for schools because teachers can’t be vetted in time for them to be legally allowed to teach.
The other big group of people affected by this is migrants. The reason is that when people apply for Residence, and other types of visas, Immigration New Zealand makes its own request to the Police to see if the applicant has a criminal record in this country. We’ve heard that INZ staff themselves are frustrated because their visa processing is being held up as a result, which affects their timeliness stats.
As Convenor of the Auckland District Law Society (Inc.) Immigration & Refugee Committee, I am now writing to the Minister of Immigration about this. As it so happens, Hon Michael Woodhouse is also Minister of Police. This happy coincidence might bear fruit. I will also be hosting the Auckland Law Society’s annual dinner for the Minister of Immigration at the end of July. I’ll try to remember to take him up on it at that time, and see if he’s been able to iron things out.