Immigration advisers have described the first day of the country's new residence scheme as a shambles.

The first of two phases in the one-off residence visa programme was marred by technical difficulties yesterday.

Immigration New Zealand said IT teams worked through the night and 2000 people have so far been able to apply, out of a predicted total of 15,000.

Immigration lawyer Richard Small said it raised serious capacity and competence issues for the roll-out to a further 95,000 migrants in March. In total, 165,000 new residents are expected to get residence in the next year.

Other online processes were also down affecting applications for temporary visas.

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