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Overstayer review required urgently - Locke

11 August 2000

The Green Party's immigration spokesperson Keith Locke has backed Mangere MP Taito Phillip Field's call for a review of the overstayer legislation.

"The matter is urgent," said Mr Locke, "because from October 1 many long-term Samoan and Tongan overstayers will be able to be kicked out of the country without any right of appeal.

"This is causing huge anguish in South Auckland, as I found out when I addressed a meeting of 800 Pacific Islanders in Mangere last month," he said.

"We are a Polynesian nation, and we increasingly celebrate the Samoan and Tongan part of our national identity.

"How can we claim as our own the Jonah Lomu's and Beatrice Faumuina's while we are prepared to toss their relations out of the country at a moments notice?

"Why should we rip Pacific Island families apart just because of some rigid deadline imposed by a National administration?

"The Green Party says, 'abolish the October 1 deadline'. Bring in a humanitarian policy for Pacific migrants, which welcomes them in to the New Zealand family," said Mr Locke.

Ends


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