Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamere has been sacked this evening. Prime minister Jenny Shipley has asked the Governor General to withdraw his warrant as Minister of Immigration following disclosure that he authorised permanent residence for Chinese investors, so long as they invested in specific Maori projects.
So now, what does this mean for the asylum seeker hunger strikers incarcerated inside Mt Eden Prison?
Mrs Shipley has given an Immigration caretaking position to Health Minister Wyatt Creech. He will oversee the portfolio until after this weekend’s election.
Scoop has been demanding that Mr Delamere do something to resolve the hunger striker’s ongoing protest against being imprisoned while awaiting an appeal for refugee status to remain in New Zealand.
Mr Delamere has continued to refute the asylum seeker’s claims that they would be persecuted or killed should they return to their homelands.
If National can do something miraculous this week, it would be to fast track a resolution to the pathetically slow bureaucracy which is affecting the lives of these people.
Mr Creech will no doubt take a clear, considered position on the matter and act in the spirit of humanitarian ideals.
See also: Mr Delamere:
Enough Is Enough!
The Mount! Mt Eden Prison has been the focus of protest action before. Here pictured is "Hole in the Wall Gang" leader, Kerr during his 1995 turret-top campout. This time, the protest is inside. A hunger-strike. And the incarcerated are not criminals but asylum seekers.
Scoop [Auckland] Opinion: How much longer do we have to endure the shame of having asylum seekers hunger striking while locked up inside Mt Eden Prison? A long time yet if today’s media release from Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamere is anything to go by. See… Mr Delamere: Enough Is Enough! in the Headlines wire.