Government denies rift with NZ First holding up visa changes

The Government denies a rift with New Zealand First is causing delays to changes it has promised to partnership visas.

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Immigration minister Iain Lees-Galloway says there will be an update later this week. Source: 1 NEWS

Some members of the Indian community have expressed concern about changes to immigration procedures that made it hard for couples in arranged marriages to receive partnership visas as they needed to live together for 12 months.

The furore led to New Zealand First MP Shane Jones saying if they don’t like it, they can "catch the next flight home".

Last week, the Prime Minister said the changes should not have been made and revealed she wants to see a return to the status quo.

Since then, the Government has been delaying outlining exactly how those changes will be made.

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Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says the initial rule change was made by Immigration NZ without his knowledge. Source: 1 NEWS

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says the Government is moving as fast as it can.

"We’ve got to make sure these instructions are correct, clear and people understand what they are working with," he told 1 NEWS.

Immigration New Zealand had made the changes without informing the Government.

The Minister denies arguments with New Zealand First over the changes is compounding the problem.

"They’ve been quite clear we need to have clear rules in place that do afford people in culturally arranged marriages to come to New Zealand, but also that we minimise any risks or opportunities for fraud in the system."

Mr Lees-Galloway says he has been consulting with the Indian community.