Chief Censor to head new immigration tribunal

Chief Censor Bill Hastings has been appointed a District Court judge and will head the new Immigration and Protection Tribunal, Attorney-General Chris Finlayson announced today.

Mr Hastings is handing over his duties as chief censor, an appointment he has held since 1999, and the Department of Internal Affairs is starting a recruitment process for a replacement.

Until a new appointment is made Deputy Chief Censor Nicola McCully will hold all the powers of chief censor.

Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy acknowledged the contribution Mr Hastings had made during 12 years of service heading the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

"Mr Hastings has encouraged debate and raised awareness of censorship law in New Zealand," Mr Guy said.

Mr Finlayson said the new Immigration and Protection Tribunal had to be chaired by a District Court judge.

It will decide all immigration, deportation, refugee and protection appeals and replaces four existing appeal bodies.

Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said the tribunal had a critical role to play in New Zealand fulfilling its international humanitarian obligations.

"It will maintain and build on the very strong reputation of the existing appeal bodies," he said.

Mr Hastings was born in Canada and holds law degrees.

Before becoming chief censor he was Deputy Dean of Law at Victoria University and a member of the university's governing council.

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2 Comments & Questions

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Bill Hastings has been a disaster as Chief Film Censor, who knows who he might let into the country in heading up the new Immigration Tribunal. Why doesn't the government appoint someone normal from out of the suburbs?

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because someone "normal from out of the suburbs" probably wouldn't have half the experience or qualifications Mr. Hastings has which makes him the perfect candidate for such positions hence why he keeps getting them.

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