The Auckland Jewish Immigration (AJI), in planning its future, has referred back to its founding 2000 report.
Founded at the request of the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, the AJI has assisted many hundreds of newcomers settle in Auckland and other regions.
Originally the target was to create an international media to attract Jewish families to consider resettling in Auckland. In addition the AJI would assist the newcomers in the settlement process.
The organisation quickly realised that newcomers also needed help to be guided through the immigration application system, and a referral link was set up with a leading Immigration consultancy firm. This referral partnership worked well but progressively the AJI enquirers felt, with on-going guidance, they could handle the immigration process themselves.
From this, a loose partnership was structured where the AJI provided step by step guidance through the visa application process whilst the prospective newcomer did all the actual processing.
Fast forward to the present, the New Zealand government made two crucial decisions which eventually achieved a significant improvement to its immigration processing.
One was to move Immigration New Zealand into the Business and Enterprise new head office building and secondly, over a period of four years, have the immigration application process available so that those applying would be able to electronically make contact to the INZ through its new updated website.
It was for intending immigrants a welcome to the new electronic era.
The website is so user friendly that it provides direct applications to the INZ and gives a variety of options for the would be migrant to consider.
In essence, the step by step AJI/immigration enquirer set up had become unnecessary, restricting it to the more complex applications.
So the AJI has now gone full circle, back to its origins of updating its free Jewish settlement and media services with information and guidance on how to use the new INZ website should they have any difficulties.
It also ushers in for the AJI an electronic challenge for the future, to embrace additional ways to promote globally its message and devise better updated settlement support.
A worthwhile AJI challenge going forward could be to develop for newcomers a unique Jewish Citizens Advice Bureau concept.