Terms of Reference released for review into out of hours immigration visits

Published: 16 May 2023

The head of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has announced that a review is to be held into out of hours compliance visits carried out by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

Carolyn Tremain says the independent review, by Mike Heron KC, will consider the cultural appropriateness of such visits taking into account relevant matters such as Immigration New Zealand’s responsibility to uphold the principles of the Government’s Dawn raids apology.

The review will look at whether current immigration settings, standard operating procedures and any other internal guidance for out of hours immigration compliance activity to serve deportation liability notices or execute deportation orders are fit for purpose.

“The review will also assess whether such immigration compliance activity is reasonable, proportionate and justifiable in the circumstances and takes into account relevant considerations such as the possible impact and harm on children and any other individuals that may be present,” Ms Tremain says.

“The review will also consider whether anything more needs to be done to ensure the health and safety of compliance officers and whether out of hours compliance visits have been approved at an appropriate managerial level.”

A recent change required out of hours visits to be approved personally by the Head of INZ. The standard operating hours have also changed - from 7am-9pm to 8am-6pm, which means that out of hours visits are now classified as visits before 8am and after 6pm.

“Out of hours visits are rare and only make up around 3% of compliance visits, but I want to reiterate that all out of hours compliance visits have been stopped until the review is completed. I expect that to happen by the end of June,” Ms Tremain says.

“As I said when I announced the review we are committed to learning our lessons following the Dawn raids of the 1970s and the formal apology made by the Government in August 2021 and I look forward to any recommendations that will improve our policies and processes.”

MBIE media contact

Email: media@mbie.govt.nz