Auckland, April 17: The recent TV3 investigation into the fraudulent applications being submitted to the Mumbai Immigration office has revealed the dark side of some of the agents in India who are using false documentation to come to New Zealand.

However, it is heartening to know that the government agencies, Immigration NZ/NZQA and other institutions are doing what is necessary to address this issue. The very fact that so many fraudulent applications have been detected is a positive sign that the measures to detect fraud are working.

The education sector is worth $3 billion with close to 30000 jobs nationwide. The issue therefore needs to be approached cautiously with well-considered steps toward correction rather than sensational sabre rattling, especially in the media.

The responsibility lies with all stakeholders of the industry beginning with students, providers and government agencies such as ENZ, NZQA and INZ to identify and report any activity or entity that even remotely seems fraudulent or suspect. An approach of information sharing, collective ownership and responsibility is required than accusatory finger pointing.

The approach should be to establish a well thought out long term solution, in the form of education and regulation of agents, applied in a culture specific context – that is, not a kiwi solution to a problem in India.

India Trade Alliance, as a bilateral business association with education as one of key focus areas, can offer support to the government and industry stakeholders as a connector, enabler and advocator.