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Minister Cunliffe Obfuscates Over Biometrics

United Future Media Statement

6 December 2006

Minister Cunliffe Obfuscates Over Biometrics

Immigration Minister David Cunliffe today skirted and skated to avoid admitting that he intends to collect biometric data from New Zealanders, United Future Immigration Spokesperson Gordon Copeland said.

“The Minister focused on the types of biometric information that he was not intending to collect to distract attention from the fact that he intends to collect unknown types of biometric data from migrants and kiwis returning home.”

The decision has been made for:
Power to require the collection, storage and use of biometric information from non-citizens when engaged with the immigration process and to collect and use limited biometric information from New Zealand citizens at the border. (Page 19)

“No present need has been identified for biometrics in New Zealand – this is proven by the Minister himself admitting that there has been no policy development on the issue.”

“So why has Minister Cunliffe insisted on the power to collect our most personal information – does he wish to make his own brave new world?”

“Gathering biometric information is unnecessary and un-kiwi and the Minister should change this decision, said Mr Copeland.

*United Future gave consideration to the discussion document for the new Immigration Act and contributed our own document to the Minister in April. We are happy to re-release this document to the public as our contribution to the debate.

ENDS

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