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Finally! Lianne Dalziel Climbs Off High Horse

Finally! Lianne Dalziel Climbs Off High Horse

ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide today said that it was pleasing that the Minister of Immigration Lianne Dalziel had finally admitted that the Immigration Service should have called in the police following the complaint that an immigration officer had sought sexual favours in return for helping a young woman with her residency application.

"The Immigration Service did not call the police. Instead, they organised their own investigation, upheld the complaint, and dismissed the officer. They never called the police. They never even told the Minister," Mr Hide said.

"The Minister against all reason yesterday stoutly defended the Immigration Service's handling of this case `in-house' as `sexual harassment' and an `employment matter'. That was clearly wrong. The complaint was much more serious than that. It was a complaint of bribery and corruption, pure and simple. The Minister's excuse-making for her officials' handling of this case has been nauseating.

"But today she finally climbed off her very high horse with both her feet stuck firmly in her mouth. The Minister said on Linda Clark's Nine-to-Noon show that, `I am willing to concede completely that in this particular case they should have sought advice from the Police'. Exactly.

"As the Minister now accepts, the Police could have mounted a sting operation and caught this officer and sent a very strong signal both within New Zealand and around the world that New Zealand does not tolerate this sort of behaviour from our civil service. A simple sacking does not fit with the severity of what has gone on here.

"It's not too late for Lianne Dalziel to take action. The sacked official worked for the Service for eight years. The Minister said on radio that, `He has come through this whole thing as an arrogant individual who abused his position of power. He should never have been employed in the Immigration Service and I am glad that he has been dismissed'.

"Well, strong words Minister. But what about all the other women that this officer interviewed and what assurance have we that he is the only officer up to no good? After all, the huff and puff Minister didn't even know about this case, until I raised it. She needs to get on top of just what is happening in her own department - and sort it," Mr Hide said.

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