13 May 2004

New Zealand to review Tuvalu, Kiribati immigration quotas

10:44 am on 13 May 2004

The New Zealand immigration minister, Paul Swain, says a review is to be launched into why some Pacific Access quotas are not being filled.

Mr Swain's comments come after the Tuvalu prime minister Saufatu Sopo'aga said New Zealand was not honouring an immigration quota deal it had struck with the island nation.

Kiribati and Tuvalu have both said their annual 75 person quota has not been filled in recent years.

Mr Sopo'aga says only 32 Tuvaluans have been accepted under the scheme since it started two years ago.

He says New Zealand Immigration has made it too hard to be accepted.

Mr Swain says he realises there are issues that need to be sorted out.

"It may well be because the job offer category is too difficult, it may be that that income level for the job is too high, whichever we are going to have a review of this and the various leaders of the states that are involved will be asked for their input into the review."