Immigration NZ

Samoan victims of trafficking granted NZ work visas

The three are among other Pacific Islanders who had their visas approved by Immigration New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand said the 16 people from Fiji and Samoa were approved for their visas between July 2016 and July 2019.

RNZI reports in total, there were 17 successful applications - including from one person who made multiple applications.

Immigration's visa services manager, Michael Carley, said overall there were 92 individual applications decided under the category since 2016.

Pastor who lied to Immigration NZ said he was acting 'for the love of God'

Faaofo Fomai and his church, the Everlasting Gospel Church, had both pleaded guilty to four charges of supplying information to an immigration officer knowing it to be false or misleading. They were sentenced in Hastings District Court on Wednesday.

Fomai was sentenced to six months' home detention. The church was fined $2000. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years' prison or a fine of $100,000.

The charges related to Fomai's dealings with a Samoan police officer, Uasi Siatulau, whom he promised a job as a youth pastor in his Hawke's Bay church.

Immigration public counter closures sparks warning

Advisors and lawyers doubt the technology is in place to cope and the Minister for Pacific Peoples wants the move reviewed. But Immigration NZ says people can still see an immigration officer by appointment, and put in a paper application.

Since the beginning of last year, Immigration NZ has closed its public counters in Henderson, Manukau, Hamilton and Palmerston North.

Wellington's office will shut in 10 days and Christchurch's on 21 December. The remaining one, at the Auckland Queen Street office, is due to shut by June.