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Minister on Samoan removal attempt

11 June 2001 Media Statement

Minister on Samoan removal attempt

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel today said she was seeking more detail on the attempted removal of a 21-year-old Samoan woman and her 10-year-old relative.

"I want to make it clear that by law, we cannot remove children without the involvement of a responsible adult. The New Zealand Immigration Service has no authority to serve a removal order on a child – in fact in the case highlighted in today's New Zealand Herald, the removal order was served on the 21-year-old woman. This was done on the basis that NZIS understood the child was a dependant of the 21-year-old woman.

"I have asked for the allegations related to this removal attempt to be investigated, and am still looking into whether correct procedures were followed.

"There has been an added difficulty in accessing information from Apia, as today is Sunday in Samoa. I expect to have further information made available to me in the next few days."

Ms Dalziel said she would not comment further until she had had a detailed report from officials.

ENDS

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