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Labour opposes knee-jerk immigration legislation

2000 web siteLabour immigration spokesperson Lianne Dalziel said Labour opposed the urgent passing of new immigration law today because it was a panic measure and an abuse of the Parliamentary system.

Lianne Dalziel said there was no good reason why the select committee could not have a proper briefing on the justification for bringing forward the start date of legislation passed
in March which gives authorities wider powers of detention to deal with people arriving here in a group.

"The law introduced last night could have still been passed before the boat which triggered the panic measure is due to arrive in New Zealand, if it was indeed necessary," Lianne Dalziel said.

"This is a shoddy way to run a country.

"The original part of the legislation dealing with this issue was a knee-jerk reaction, and the Government has now gone one step further with the passing of this law today.

"Labour has never promoted opening our borders to 'anyone at all' as the Minister is claiming.

"However, nor will we make rash and rushed decisions with no attempt to consider the facts of a particular matter as Mr Delamere has done in this case.

"The status of the Chinese on board the boat which is apparently heading towards New Zealand has been pre-determined by Mr Delamere. He has no evidence, yet he is indicating to the country that they are not 'real' refugees.

"This is further evidence of this government's appalling attitude towards refugees. It is going to further reinforce our already poor international reputation in dealing with refugees," Lianne Dalziel said.

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