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What's happening at Immigration?

Lockwood Smith MP
National Party Immigration Spokesman

7 September 2008

What's happening at Immigration?

National Party Immigration spokesman Lockwood Smith says Labour's gone suspiciously quiet over the inquiries into the immigration service, what Ministers knew, and who was instructing staff to process unlawful applications.

"With a cloud hanging over both the current and former Immigration Ministers about how long they knew about the allegations of unlawful decision-making involving the former head of Immigration New Zealand Mary-Anne Thompson - the public would expect Labour to pull out all the stops to get some resolution before the election."

Dr Smith says former Immigration Minister David Cunliffe admits he knew for more than a year about the previously secret report into unlawful decisions at the Pacific Division. The current Minister Clayton Cosgrove was also briefed.

"This is another case where Labour tried to keep the wrongdoing secret, until people starting asking the right questions. Had those questions not been asked, none of the four inquiries currently being conducted would ever have been launched."

Dr Smith says while the Minister has no control over the timing of the inquiries being conducted by the police or the Auditor-General, Ministers could offer some clues as to when the State Services Commission and the internal Labour Department inquiries will be released.

"If they're not going to be until after the election, we should be told. The public will want to know if they will see the reports before the election, if drafts have been produced, and who has seen those."


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