8 Jul 2012

Immigration NZ forced to raise fees

9:35 am on 8 July 2012

Immigration New Zealand says it's had to raise its fees in order to avoid making serious cuts to its service.

In the past three years, the agency made $37 million less than expected because of higher costs and fewer people migrating permanently to New Zealand.

Budget documents provided by the Treasury reveal the agency has had to consider cutting up to 440 jobs and closing 11 branches.

But business manager Steve McGill says it has opted to mitigate the loss by raising the fees for obtaining visas by up to 20%.

Immigration New Zealand says it has also identified some savings in areas such as the use of contractors and mobile phones.