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Update on multi-agency investigation

Update on multi-agency investigation

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today the multi-agency investigation into issues linked to the safety and welfare of the young Japanese nationals living at Columbus Academy is progressing.

“The agencies are working hard, and in conjunction with each other, on the ground in Auckland to deal with various issues that have been raised relating to the Columbus Academy, Trevor Mallard said.

“The main agencies involved are immigration, health, education, and the employment relations service. The multi-agency team is also working closely with local authorities.

“The team’s priority in this investigation is the safety and welfare of the young Japanese nationals who are living at the Columbus Academy.

“Officials reported to me today and I am still considering their report. However, I am advised that their investigation is being seriously hampered by a lack of cooperation, and difficulties in accessing the residents, Columbus Academy staff and the records of the Columbus Academy, which have been removed.

“Because of our concerns over the safety and welfare of the young people at the academy, and because of our determination not to hamper the investigation in any way, there will be no further comment at this stage.

“Once the difficulties I have outlined have been overcome, and these agencies have all the information they require, I am hopeful I will be in a position to comment further,” Trevor Mallard said.

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