INZ set to close local offices and cut jobs

INZ set to close local offices and cut jobs

INZ set to close local offices and cut jobs

Immigration New Zealand has announced it will close two local offices and initiate a management shake-up with the loss of at least 25 jobs.

A spokesperson for the Immigration department confirmed the changes would take place, even although the department is at present rolling out a new model for its service delivery. Nicola Hogg told reporters that INZ is making the changes due to its introduction of consolidated decision making and improved customer services.

The reorganisation will see the closure of the Sydney and Dunedin offices, which will take place towards the end of 2013. Subsequently, immigration services will be provided by third-party companies at visa application centres in the two areas.

Hogg stated that INZ will continue evaluating a further 10 branches between now and 2015, with final decisions made after a full investigation. She also gave details of the restructuring process, involving the removal of 50 regional branch managerial positions and 16 immigration manager jobs.

She added that, after the reconstruction, 41 new jobs will have been created, resulting in around 25 redundancies. Assistant Secretary to the Public Services Association Basil Prestidge said that the changes were driven by the use of new technology, including a new programme to deliver more services via INZ’s website.

Prestidge added that, although technological advances are inevitable, he considers that the present public services push towards online services is too fast. He believes insufficient consideration is being given to the problems posed for people without computer access and the workforce whose jobs will be at risk.

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