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More questions in Visa-gate

Hon. Tony Ryall MP

National Party Immigration Spokesman

14 September 2005

More questions in Visa-gate

More and more questions are surfacing around the granting of a visa to an overstayer employed by Associate Pacific Island Affairs Minister Taito Philip Field, says National's Immigration spokesman, Tony Ryall.

"For a Minister to get a visa for an overstayer who he employed is a scandal," Mr Ryall says.

He is commenting on reports that Mr Field urged Associate Immigration Minister Damien O'Connor to grant work permits for a Thai man and his wife. The man had reportedly done tiling work on Mr Field's house in Samoa.

Mr Ryall says the questions are:

1. Have Immigration Minister Paul Swain or Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff ever visited Mr Field's house in Samoa?

2. If so, did they meet Mr Field's tiler? Who else did they meet there?

3. Was the tiler's immigration situation discussed with any of them?

4. Did Mr Field give an indication to the tiler that the visa matter would be sorted?

5. Was Mr Field's tiler the subject of a removal order three years ago, thereby banning him from applying for a visa for five years?

6. Why would a visa be granted to such a person?

"These questions need to be answered by all the Ministers involved. There will be more questions to come.

"I also draw the media's attention to the case of the then British Home Secretary David Blunkett, who resigned because he sought to speed up the visa application of a former lover's nanny."

ENDS

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