Immigration NZ Finally Apologises for ‘careless & shoddy mistake’

We have written before about the fake fact sheet and the fake map on Immigration NZ’s website and we called for them to apologise rather than just take down the information as they had quietly done the day after the story broke.

They have now finally apologised and Winston Peters has very generously referred to their fake facts and fake map as “a rather careless and shoddy mistake.” He has said that the government will apologise at a ministerial level if it is deemed necessary, acknowledging just how bad the “mistake” was.

Immigration New Zealand has apologised to the Israeli government after the country was left off a map outlining New Zealand’s work to resettle Palestinian refugees.

They were not left off a map. The map labelled Israel as the state of Palestine which does not even exist! That would be like saying that they left New Zealand off the map but the North Island and the South Island were on the map labelled Australia!

[…] Last week, the Israel Institute of New Zealand raised concerns about the Immigration NZ document, saying it “totally erases Israel from the map” and presented a one-sided narrative of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

[…] A map in the fact sheet labelled both the Palestinian and Israeli territories as “Palestine”, which Israel Institute of NZ co-director Ashley Church said was the most obvious error.
“This is incredibly offensive and the equivalent of New Zealand Immigration displaying a map of the UK which removed Scotland and Wales and referred to the entirety of the British Isles as England,” Church said.

[…] “It is alarming and embarrassing that information provided by a New Zealand government department can be both wildly inaccurate and so heavily politicised”.
Immigration NZ refugee division manager Andrew Lockhart said the department had taken down the fact sheet from its website after it was contacted by a member of the public last week.

[…] Peters expressed his displeasure when asked about the mistake by Parliament’s foreign affairs, defence and trade committee […]
“It was, how should I put it without being too condemnatory, it was a rather careless and shoddy mistake.”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade chief executive Chris Seed said there had been “follow-up” between his ministry and Immigration New Zealand, with a new verification procedure to be put in place before maps were placed on the latter’s website.
Seed said Immigration New Zealand had also written a letter of apology to Israel’s ambassador in New Zealand.

Speaking to media afterwards, Peters said the Government would make an apology at a ministerial level if it was deemed necessary.
“I think we’ve made a whole lot of apologies but perhaps you’re right … if there’s got to be a minister-to-minister one for a mistake that wasn’t made by my ministry, then we’ll do that.”

Peters has previously defended Israeli positions in the ongoing dispute.[…]


While it is good that an apology has finally been offered and the fake facts have been taken down to be reviewed, it is of concern how long it took for that apology to be forthcoming.

National MP Chris Penk revealed that the apology took so long because it took “some pressure behind the scenes” to make it happen. You have to wonder then what kinds of political bias there is at the Ministry of Immigration that requires pressure to be applied to get them to correct something so obviously wrong and to apologise for publishing falsehoods.