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Obvious flaw identified in Citizenship Bill

11 August 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Obvious flaw identified

Minister of Ethnic Affairs Chris Carter has identified a flaw on the Identity (Citizenship and Travel Documents) Bill which was obvious from the beginning.

“Chris Carter should have spoken up earlier. He could have brought about change before the proposal was publicly released, during the Cabinet discussion and Cabinet committee process,” said Matt Robson.

“That is where Cabinet ministers should use the opportunity to turn down bad policies, before they ever see the light of day.

“While the news from the Minister of Ethnic Affairs is welcome, it does highlight the nonsense of the Bill. If it is supposed to combat international terrorism and people smuggling, then why grant existing permanent residents an exemption?

“By moving to exempt permanent residents from the oppressive changes, Chris Carter shows that the Bill has little if anything to do with the war on terror.

“The Bill in its current form tells migrants “We do not trust you.” It is the same message the Bill gives to New Zealanders who face the loss of their passports without due process of law.

“I urge people to make submissions to the Government Administration select committee opposing the Bill.”

Matt Robson spoke and voted against the first reading of the Bill on Thursday 29 July. He is a member of the Government Administration select committee for its consideration of the Bill.


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