Tribunal Reprimands Immigration Adviser for Negligence

Published: Wed 19 Sep 2012 05:21 PM
Media release
18 September 2012
Tribunal Reprimands Immigration Adviser for Negligence
An immigration adviser was reprimanded for negligence after failing to lodge his client’s appeal against a declined residence visa in time.
Ueite (Itaotemai) Letalu, of Letalu Immigration Co Limited, Otahuhu, initially assisted his client to lodge an application for a residence visa, but this was declined. In August 2010 Immigration New Zealand informed Mr Letalu of the decline decision, and advised him that his client had 42 days to appeal this decision.
Mr Letalu missed the appeal deadline.
The Registrar of Immigration Advisers, Barry Smedts, said: “Mr Letalu missed a crucial deadline for his client. His actions meant a potential migrant lost out on their last chance to appeal against a decline decision on their residence visa by four days.”
The Immigration Advisers Authority usually takes complaints against immigration advisers from consumers but in this case, the Authority raised a complaint itself.
Mr Smedts added: “Anyone can raise a complaint about an immigration adviser, not just the person receiving the immigration advice. In the past, we have accepted complaints from people’s relatives, community law centres and other representatives.”
Mr Letalu accepted his mistake to the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal, stating in his defence that “’s easy to get side-tracked on one’s very busy schedule.”
The Tribunal chair said: “Mr Letalu was negligent. It was a serious failing, but one that could potentially occur as a result of human frailty in a well-managed practice. [Mr Letalu] endeavoured to justify his error due to other commitments, which did not, and could not, justify the error.”
As Mr Letalu had allowed his licence to lapse during the course of the hearing, the Tribunal ordered that he be prevented from applying for a full licence for two years.
Anyone giving immigration advice must be licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority, unless exempt. Find out who is licensed by checking the online register of licensed immigration advisers at
To make a complaint about an immigration adviser, contact the Authority at, call free from New Zealand on 0508 422 422 or call +64 9 925 3838 from overseas.
Notes to editor
The Immigration Advisers Authority was set up in May 2008 to regulate immigration advice both nationally and internationally.
It is responsible for:
• overseeing the licensing of immigration advisers.
• receiving complaints about licensed and unlicensed immigration advisers.
• investigating and taking action against those breaching immigration advice law.
• maintaining a register of licensed immigration advisers.
Under the Immigration Licensing Act 2007 anyone giving immigration advice must have a licence unless they are an exempt person. Exempt people include lawyers and those working at Citizens’ Advice Bureaus among others.

Next in New Zealand politics

On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles
By: Gordon Campbell
Green Party Statement On The Death Of George Floyd
By: Green Party
Freshwater package backed by comprehensive economic analysis
By: New Zealand Government
Todd Muller announces shape of next Government
By: New Zealand National Party
On National’s Day Of Reckoning
By: Gordon Campbell
Jobs budget to get economy moving again
By: New Zealand Government
Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020
By: New Zealand Government
Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery
By: New Zealand Government
New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party Unveils Its Candidate List For The 2020 Election
By: Green Party
NZ COVID Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing
By: Ministry of Health
Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
By: New Zealand Government
SPEECH: Todd Muller - Families, Communities, Small Business
By: New Zealand National Party
National Backs Businesses With $10k JobStart
By: New Zealand National Party
Todd Muller Elected Leader Of The New Zealand National Party
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media