A national restructuring of Immigration New Zealand services
may affect availability of settlement support services in
The restructuring would result in settlement co-ordinators
replaced with a national settlement information service,
eight retention specialists stationed throughout the country,
and phone and email support for migrants.
The move follows the closing of Dunedin's Immigration Office
The changes would come into effect when Immigration New
Zealand's contract with the Dunedin City Council for
settlement support provision ends on June 30.
When contacted, the council referred The Star to the Ministry
of Business Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) which confirmed
that, from July, all settlement information would be located
on one website instead of the 18 different sites that exist
All phone calls and emails handled by Settlement Support New
Zealand would be dealt with by the Immigration Contact
Centre. Access to interpreters would also be available
through Language Line.
MBIE would have a team of eight ''retention specialists'' in
regions. Immigration New Zealand Settlement, protection and
attraction general manager Steve McGill said there would be a
national tender process to find a service provider that could
give face-to-face information to immigrants using existing
That process would be completed by June 30. The location of
the retention specialists would be so as to service all parts
of the country. It was likely there would be one to service
the South, Mr McGill said.
The present budget for settlement support was about $1.8
million and the changes would either be fiscally neutral or
have some efficiency gains, he said.
The decision to implement a new settlement information
delivery model was made following an independent review of
Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council president Beryl Lee said the
changes would put a new perspective on services and it
remained to be seen what the benefit would be.
The current Dunedin settlement support officer had been very
effective, especially in having face-to-face meetings with
As the new person would be covering a much wider area, she
thought they would be less able to have face-to-face
However, it was to early to say whether the changes would be
positive or negative, she said.