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It's A Sad Solution But We Did Warn You

30 August 2006

It's A Sad Solution But We Did Warn You - Peters

"The government's policy about-face on its Special Zimbabwe Residence Policy is an admission that it has no idea how many HIV-positive people it has let into the country, nor where they are hiding, New Zealand First Leader, Winston Peters, said today.

"The government has been forced to coax these people out of the woodwork with the bait of residency with no questions asked, because they lack the foggiest notion of where they are, or whether they are behaving like Zimbabwean refugee Shingirayi Nyarirangwe, who committed violent crimes against women and deliberately infected them with HIV," Mr Peters said.

"For years I have been labelled as racist and anti-immigration for opposing the policies of both Labour and National-led governments that have allowed thousands of migrants into this country without first testing them for HIV and other easily identifiable communicable diseases.

"Now we find that New Zealanders are being expected to pay the price for such a cavalier approach, with the government deciding to allow hundreds of HIV-positive migrants and refugees to come forward and claim the residency they were promised, without fear of being declined on health grounds.

"The government claims its new policy is essential in order to treat HIV-positive migrants who have been in hiding since they arrived here. In fact it just shows the folly of the original decision to allow these people into the country without first carrying out basic health checks.

"The result of years of soft immigration policies is that these people, and hundreds of other migrants, will now be treated for free for the rest of their lives while the taxpayer picks up the cost of millions per patient – money that should be spent on treating sick New Zealanders who already find it hard enough to get adequate treatment from our public health system.

"We already have an overburdened health system that needs ever dollar it gets, and placing more strain on it by allowing in migrants who need costly treatment, often for their entire lives, is plain stupid and cannot be allowed to continue," Mr Peters said.

"The government is taking the only option now available to it because successive governments have failed to take the obvious solution available to them back then – defending the welfare of New Zealanders first," concluded Mr Peters.


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