An English ex-pat who criticised New Zealand's migration policy is mystified as to why he is being investigated by immigration officials.
Mike Bell, 40, and his wife Tammy, 38, closed their Christchurch migrant settlement centre on Wednesday after a warning by the Immigration Advisers Authority that he was breaking the law.
Bell claims he has done nothing wrong and says the authority has yet to explain how he has broken the law.
The couple moved to New Zealand from the UK nine years ago and founded settlement assistance group Move2NZ in 2005.
Mike Bell made headlines here and in the UK earlier this month after criticising the Government over the number of British migrants who had to leave New Zealand because they failed to secure residency.
Bell said many had been working here on temporary visas and the attitude of Kiwi officials was: "We've taken your money, used your skills, now bugger off."
His comments were reported by several UK newspapers, which said British expats faced losing their jobs and being kicked out of New Zealand because of a Government policy to save jobs for Kiwis.
The claims have been emphatically denied by Immigration New Zealand.
Bell said yesterday that he had New Zealand's interests at heart: "We were trying to warn the Government about something that could potentially damage the economy."
He said Move2NZ had a good working relationship with Immigration New Zealand until now, and had planned to seek Government support to open new centres this year.
"Whether these two things [his criticism and the warning] are connected, I couldn't say. But that has been something we've done differently recently. The timing is interesting."
From May 4, all immigration advisers had to be licensed by the authority - which is independent of Immigration New Zealand - unless they had an approved exemption.
Bell was denied exemption from the Act in February.
The authority said Bell was not being prosecuted, but it had "concerns" about his actions.
It sent him a warning letter outlining the law and telling him to refrain from acting as an immigration adviser.
- Additional reporting by Nicola ShepheardBy Rebecca Lewis