Immigration finally agrees to obey Public Records Act

We are pleased to report that Immigration NZ has finally agreed to honour its legal obligations under the Public Records Act, and will now be recording reasons for its decisions made under s.61 of the Immigration Act. (See our earlier articles here, here and here.)

Internal Administration Circular 13-08 (pdf) now replaces the problematic IAC 11-10. In it, para 34 says "Immigration officers considering section 61 requests should briefly record their reasons for decisions on the file."

This contrasts with the original instruction that reasons should not be recorded, with internal emails showing that this was to expressly avoid potential for "...the risk of judicial review and ombudsman complaints."

We are pleased that this change has been made, but disappointed that it took complaints to both the Ombudsman and the Chief Archivist after Immigration refused to back down from their initial position.