PM ASKS GOVERNOR-GENERAL TO WITHDRAW DELAMERE'S WARRANT
Prime Minister Jenny Shipley today advised the Governor-General to withdraw Immigration Minister Tuariki John Delamere's warrant as Minister of Immigration following disclosure that he authorised permanent residence for Chinese investors, so long as they invested in specific Maori projects.
"The deal that Mr Delamere has done, giving the option of permanent residence to Chinese investors so long as they invest in Maori only projects, is not appropriate.
"By offering permanent residence in New Zealand so long as investors invest in projects which he dictates, is unacceptable and will be repugnant to all New Zealanders.
"In New Zealand we have one law for all. It is unacceptable for a Minister of Immigration to use his position to make decisions that favour one group of people above others.
"Where we have different sets of rules for specific purposes, these have been clearly spelt out and agreed by Cabinet. This was not done in this case.
"Mr Delamere's own department advised him that he was effectively creating new policy. He can not create new policy without the sanction of Cabinet.
"I have not taken this step lightly, but made this decision in the interests of protecting the integrity of our immigration system," Mrs Shipley said.
The Prime Minister said Wyatt Creech would take over as Acting Minister of Immigration and she had asked him to look immediately at whether the approvals Mr Delamere had granted could be rescinded.