News centre

Review into the Accredited Employer Work Visa

An independent external review into the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) has been released today by Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission.

27 February 2024
2 minute read

The review was announced in August last year by the former Government’s Minister of Immigration.

The review looked at the appropriateness of all aspects of the employer accreditation and job check processes undertaken by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) as part of the AEWV scheme.

The review makes 4 main findings:

  • It was reasonable for the Deputy Secretary - Immigration to issue instructions to staff with the aim of reducing AEWV processing times given the pressure to access migrant labour after the reopening of the border
  • INZ should have undertaken a structured risk assessment before issuing the Instructions, although they were appropriate
  • MBIE should have undertaken a dedicated risk assessment before extending the Instructions, alongside the targeted risk monitoring and review that was undertaken
  • Senior INZ leadership did not pay adequate attention to concerns raised by some staff about the AEWV risk settings.

The review makes 10 specific recommendations around reducing the risk of migrant exploitation, developing an integrated compliance and system monitoring model, improving intelligence gathering and resetting the relationship between INZ’s senior leaders and frontline staff.

The implementation of the AEWV scheme coincided with the reopening of the border post COVID-19 and the review notes INZ was under extreme pressure to process an extremely high number of visas in short timeframes.

The review notes that INZ and the wider MBIE have already made a number of changes to improve the administration of the AEWV scheme. Settings have been tightened since 30 June last year to introduce more checks and as a consequence processing times have increased. But the AEWV scheme has been hugely successful in enabling employers to recruit much needed migrant labour to boost the economy.

The review is published on the Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission website.

Review into administration of work force visa scheme released — Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission