Newshub can reveal Phil Twyford has granted three convicted criminals residency since December.
Documents show the trio the Associate Immigration Minister said yes to have 10 convictions between them - including for drink-driving and producing a false passport.
Charlotte te Riet Scholten-Phillips and her family moved to New Zealand from the Netherlands in October 2019.
She loves it here and so does her five-year-old, Ellie.
"She has a Kiwi accent now, so she's really well-integrated," te Riet Scholten-Phillips said.
They want to make that integration official, and have been waiting more than a year in the queue to be considered for residency.
"It's horrific," she said of the process. "I don't really know how to describe other than your life is incredibly stressful, your life feels like it's temporary."
Te Riet Scholten-Phillips is frustrated that while they've been waiting, residency's been granted to three people with criminal convictions.
While she's been waiting, Newshub can reveal Phil Twyford has granted three convicted criminals residency since December - and documents show they have 10 convictions between them.
Six are for drink driving, one is for dangerous driving, one is for driving while disqualified, one is for unlawfully being in an enclosed yard or area, and one is for producing a false passport.
All but one of the crimes were committed in New Zealand.
"This is a real slap in the face for those good, law-abiding people who get up and go to work everyday; our teachers, our nurses, doctors and engineers who cannot get residency," National's immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.
"But the ministers grant it to people with criminal convictions - it's absurd."
Twyford said in a statement those with convictions make up a very small proportion of cases he's intervened in.
He said a number of other factors are also taken into account, including the length of time they've been here, their personal circumstances and contribution to the community.
This isn't the first time. Former Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said yes to convicted drug smuggler Karel Sroubek and someone with six drink-driving convictions.