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Minister's call on report he knew nothing about?

Lockwood Smith MP
National Party Immigration Spokesman

27 May 2008

How could the Minister make a call on a report he knew nothing about?

National Party Immigration spokesman Lockwood Smith is questioning how Clayton Cosgrove could decide unlawful decisions made by the Immigration Service were an employment matter if he did not know anything about them.

“The Minister told Parliament that ‘I noted that these were explicit employment matters’ and he handed responsibility for them to his chief executive.

“But how could he judge that the issue was an employment matter if he knew nothing about it? Surely, in order to decide it’s an employment matter, that has to be based on something. What was Mr Cosgrove told?”

Dr Smith says Ministers David Cunliffe and Clayton Cosgrove do not need to wait for an Auditor-General’s report into the scandal that has engulfed the Immigration Service to tell their side of the story.

“Mr Cunliffe has been completely silent on these matters, yet he has known about issues in the Pacific division for more than a year. Neither he nor Mr Cosgrove have given any sort of real detail about what the briefings with their chief executives involved.”

Dr Smith also notes that the Immigration Service chief executive was so worried by the findings of the Oughton report that he sought Crown Law advice.

“What did Crown Law say? Did Crown Law see the Oughton report and were they aware of the serious policy breaches laid out in that report?

“The more we dig into this affair, the more murky it looks.”


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