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Labour once again late on passport issue

Hon Peter Dunne
Minister of Internal Affairs

2 September 2014 Media Statement

Labour once again late on passport issue

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne said the ‘announcement’ by Labour ’s Trevor Mallard that if elected, a Labour-led government would restore passports to 10 year validity clearly shows how inattentive Mr Mallard is on this issue.

“The government is already reviewing the passport validity period with a view to extending it to 10 years following formal Select Committee consideration of this issue. Unlike the once-over-lightly approach by Mr Mallard, the Government is undertaking a thorough review that takes account of security considerations, increase in cost and the need to maintain the fast and efficient processing times achieved by the online passport renewal systems”, says Mr Dunne.

This is not the only issue on which Mr Mallard is shown to be behind the eight ball. Mr Mallard missed another Government announcement made less than a month ago, today claiming he wants to strengthen community and local authority input into gambling.

“On 6th August I announced that the Gambling (Class 4 Net Proceeds) Amendment Regulations 2014 will increase the minimum rate of return to communities from 37.12 to 42 per cent. This followed further reforms outlines in May 2014, which will mean more proceeds from ‘pokies’ are returned to the community to help fund a wide range of activities such as sports clubs, community and cultural events, facilities and infrastructure.

“Communities have a great deal of input into deciding what shape gambling outlets take in their areas, and the Department always enforce the law robustly against any breaches of licensing”, Mr Dunne says.

Finally, adding insult to injury to Department of Internal Affairs staff is Mr Mallard’s proposal to shift Archives New Zealand and the National Library back out of the Internal Affairs umbrella.

“Moving these two agencies to be part of the DIA has seen increases in their performance and project management capabilities.

“While Mr Mallard seems happy to undermine all of the hard work done since 2011, the reality is that this Government has supported the transformation of these excellent institutions and made the necessary investment in resources and expertise in Archives and the National Library to ensure these respected institutions will continue to thrive for years to come”, said Mr Dunne.

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