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Security of New Zealand must be priority

Marie Hasler

National Immigration Spokesperson

June 2 2002

Security of New Zealand must be priority

"The security of New Zealand must be the paramount concern when processing those seeking asylum in this country," says National's Immigration spokesperson Marie Hasler.

"The interim ruling of Justice Baragwanath, released over the weekend, said the United Nations Convention on Refugees required the freedom of asylum seekers unless it was 'necessary' to detain them.

"Implicit in this observation is a catch 22 situation. Without careful scrutiny and vigilant processing for risk, New Zealand cannot determine whether an asylum seekers credentials are bona fide.

"The events of September 11 have highlighted immigration scams, exposed the ease with which documentation can be forged and the sophistication of those working to the detriment of host countries.

"Being a signatory to the United Nations charter does not require us to relinquish New Zealand's sovereignty over such a core issue as the security and defence of our country," said Ms Hasler.

Ends


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