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Cook Islands, New Zealand renew immigration partnership for another five years

Tuesday 13 February 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Economy, National

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Cook Islands, New Zealand renew immigration partnership for another five years
Left: Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Immigration- Ms Tepaeru Herrmann, Principal Immigration Officer- Chere Arthur, Programme Manager Pacific Security- Rebecca White and Programme Manager Pacific Immigration Capacity Building Pacific Security -Kevin Kneebone. MFAI/24021308

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) last week renewed for another five years their Partnership Arrangement with Immigration New Zealand (INZ), an agency of the New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) last week renewed its partnership arrangement with Immigration New Zealand (INZ), an agency of the New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), for another five years.

In a statement, MFAI said the renewal follows on from a joint review undertaken by the two agencies which concluded last week during an in-country visit by INZ officials Rebecca White and Kevin Kneebone.  

The partnership arrangement, delivered under the Hakili Matagi programme, will further support MFAI strengthen immigration capabilities in data collection and sharing, warranting, professional development, training and intelligence and border support.

Secretary MFAI Tepaeru Herrmann said: “We welcome the continuation of the Hakili Matagi programme as it is a critical component of our ongoing efforts to improve our immigration service delivery and systems capabilities.”

Since 2018, the Hakili Matagi programme has supported MFAI lift immigration capabilities and service delivery through development of its website, progressing the ASYPX electronic border management system development and various immigration policy and technical advisory support made available by INZ. 

“Integral to our partnership with INZ has been shared commitment to bolster the professionalism of our immigration service delivery and enhancing our information sharing processes for improved border security,” said Herrmann.

While in-country last week, INZ was able to observe MFAI border processes at the Rarotonga International Airport, including passenger processing utilising ASYPX and assess ICE (Immigration Core Elements) training sessions conducted by MFAI immigration operations manager Phillip Metuariki.

Principal immigration officer Chere Arthur said: “A cornerstone of the Immigration Core Elements (ICE) training framework developed under Hakili Matagi over the last five years is the components, 30 modules in total, being tailored to the operating realities of Pacific Immigration officials. Such tailored immigration capability development approaches, which MFAI are proud to have contributed develop, should strengthen our border security capabilities whilst facilitating immigration support towards inwards investment and business development.” - MFAI