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Winston Peters - Hypocrisy over Overstayers

"It is hypocrisy for the Rt Hon Winston Peters to oppose an amnesty for overstayers," said ACT leader Hon Richard Prebble.

"In 1996 New Zealand First campaigned for an amnesty. The New Zealand First party put it in their coalition agreement with National and then failed to carry out their campaign promises."

"Mr Peters change of view about overstayers seems to be similar to his change of view on Maori seats."

"ACT is fully supportive of the amnesty and I am pleased that my continual pressure on the Minister for such a move has paid off," he said. "Trying to deport people who have worked and paid taxes for over five years, are married to Kiwis and whose children are New Zealanders is a complete waste of time."

ENDS

Extract from 1996-99 Coalition agreement attached below and is also available here http://www.executive.govt.nz/96-99/coalition/immig.htm

Policy Area: Immigration -------------------------------

Statement of General Direction: The goal is to have an immigration policy that reflects New Zealand's needs in terms of skills, and ability of the community to absorb in relation to infrastructure, and recognising the diversity of the current New Zealand population. Such a policy will take into account the capacity of this nation to meet the general economic and social needs of New Zealanders. --------------------------

Key Initiatives of Policy: To maintain current immigration flows as per the last quarter of 1996 until the Population Conference has been held in May 1997.

Introduce a strict four year probationary period.

Introduce a limited overstayer amnesty following agreement upon appropriate definition and objectives of the amnesty.

Health screening of overseas visitors.

Population Conference/strategy.

Clamp down on refugee scams.

Increased resources to policing immigration policies. -------------------------------

Fiscal Implications of this Policy Agreement: None significant but revenue to New Zealand Immigration Service would be reduced. Could be greater bureaucratic costs.

(All funding proposals subject to being considered within the agreed spending policy parameters.) ------------------------------

Legislative Implications of this Policy Agreement: Likely to require amendment to the Immigration Act and Health Act.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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