Client Complaint Resolution Process
Errors take their toll on migrants
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) recently changed its working system to achieve consistency in decision-making, become more efficient, minimise errors, and reduce staff and branch numbers. But none of these changes addressed the perennial problem of the mind-set of decision makers. As the number of applications rises and thousands of decisions are made, there are bound to be errors.
Correcting the wrong
How these errors are dealt with when brought to the attention of the management of INZ is important. Is there a gatekeeping approach, since reports and statistics would reflect badly on the management of the branch?
Each branch is rated and awarded accordingly. Given this, is there really any incentive to accept errors and correct them?
It would be hard to find managers who accept these errors and resolve them without much delay. Their approach should show that there was no vested interest and that the correction process was objective and fair.
Resolving migrant complaints
The current Client Complaint Resolution process is a medium for lodgement of complaint in two stages. If the first stage does not work, then the complainant can pursue the next option.
There are times when some complaints are not lodged in the INZ system and therefore are not dealt with at all. On other occasions, the complaint is dismissed and consequently marginalised. The view taken is that there is no error and that the complainant is simply unhappy with the decision. This line of reasoning becomes difficult to overcome and the error remains unconsidered.
The stress, emotional, financial and health loss on the individual (or the complainant), and the number of other people who suffer, is hard to quantify. Unfortunately, these applicants will become victims of immigration history with their interests thrown into jeopardy. They may continue to experience problems in the future as well.
I believe that justice has not been served and the system has failed in such cases.
The current client complaint resolution process needs improvement
I was involved with a review of the current client complaint resolution process recently. The acknowledgment that problems exist is a step in the right direction. We look forward to the establishment of an independent unit powered by people with the knowledge, experience and expertise to continue looking at the client complaint resolution process.