Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


No "Security Reason" For Detaining Asylum Seeker

Green MP Keith Locke today rejected the Minister of Immigration's justification for detaining an Algerian asylum seeker in Mt Eden prison for over two months.

"Jim Sutton, speaking in Parliament for the Minister, Lianne Dalziel, could not give me 'exceptional grounds' for detaining the Algerian, which UN recommendations say are the only justification for imprisoning asylum seekers," said Mr Locke.

"All Mr Sutton did was detail the case history of this asylum seeker, alleging that he had exchanged his Algerian with Italian documentation before getting to New Zealand, and had been refused refugee status in Australia.

Mr Locke said travelling on false documentation was standard practice among refugees who could not get visas to reach their host country otherwise. Travellers on Italian passports do not require visas to enter New Zealand.

"We may not approve of such deception from asylum seekers, but it doesn't invalidate their claim for refuge, or mean we have to be protected from them by prison bars," said Mr Locke. "To suggest this man poses a security threat to New Zealand is laughable."

Mr Locke also said the result of a previous Australian refugee application was irrelevant to claims before the Refugee Status Appeals Authority.

"Imprisonment is supposed to be a measure of last resort in refugee cases, because of our humanitarian concern," he said.

I have sought a personal meeting with the Minister to pursue this case and make sure that the government has a policy of treating all asylum seekers in a compassionate manner," said Mr Locke.

Keith Locke MP: 04 470 6710 or 025 528 353 Gina Dempster, Press secretary: 04 470 6723 or 021 1265 289

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election