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Minister must fast track residence for Afghan interpreter

Phil GOFF
Defence Spokesperson                        

26 February 2014                                                  MEDIA STATEMENT

Minister must fast track residence for Afghan interpreter  

If an Afghan interpreter’s life is genuinely under threat from the Taliban, Michael Woodhouse should fast-track consideration of his application for New Zealand residence, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson, Phil Goff.

“It’s simply not good enough to say that all applications take three months and then it will likely be approved.

“If the man’s life is actually under threat now, the Minister should get off his backside and look at it urgently.

“The Afghan interpreters put their lives at risk loyally serving the New Zealand Defence Force. Their applications are backed by Kiwi soldiers with whom they worked.

“It does nothing for New Zealand’s reputation not to reciprocate the loyalty and readiness to risk their lives that the interpreters showed.

“In the circumstances described, Michael Woodhouse needs to act promptly to check out the facts and make the right decision now,” Phil Goff said.

ENDS

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