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Minister Asked Where is Ghost Ship?

Immigration Minister, Tuariki Delamere has been asked what happened to a ship supposedly carrying 100 Chinese citizens onboard.

Mt Roskill based New Zealand First MP, Gilbert Myles, has accused Mr Delamere of wasting almost $83,000 of taxpayers' money searching for a shipload of boat people that was never found.

Mr Myles says the ship is a ghost ship and does not believe the ship ever existed.

Mr Myles has revealed the cost to the Air Force and the Immigration Service of trying to locate the ship amounted to over $80,000. The costings are based on two surveillance flights by an Orion, and Immigration officials spending an estimated $4,000 on work preparing urgent legislation.

Parliament raced through hard hitting legislation which was designed to hold the boat people indefinitely and to prevent them gaining refugee status. Napier Prison was said by Labour to be cleared, cleaned, and ready to house the boatpeople. Men and women were to be separated on arrival in New Zealand and detained.

Mr Delamere had warned that a vessel carrying 102 people had left the Solomon Islands, intending to land in New Zealand within days. But inspite of an Airforce search for the ship nothing was ever found.

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