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PM Should Spend Holidays Sorting Out Zaoui Mess

10 December 2004

Peters Tells PM To Spend Holidays Sorting Out Zaoui Mess

New Zealand First has called on the Government to urgently change immigration laws and spend the holidays sorting out the Zaoui bail fiasco.

Rt Hon Winston Peters said that the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs minister also owed some urgent explanations to New Zealand’s allies who would be gravely concerned that a friary was now responsible for a grave security risk.

“Despite repeated warnings and offers of help from New Zealand First, the Government allowed the Zaoui case to get out of control.

“The Government cannot delay this issue because New Zealand is now an international security risk. We must have clear laws that allow officials to deal with the Zaouis of this world and deport them as soon as they arrive.

“We suggest that immediate changes be made to immigration laws and that they be passed under urgency next week. The Prime Minister and her colleagues could then spend their holidays working out how to get rid of Zaoui.

“Border security should also be stepped up because the Supreme Court has given a clear signal that the rights of Zaoui and his ilk are more important than the security and safety of New Zealanders.”

Mr Peters said the Zaoui case unfortunately showed that New Zealand was now a third world safe haven for individuals deported from Europe because of the risk they posed.

“Only in New Zealand could an illegal immigrant, with Islamic fundamentalist connections, who cheated his way into the country on a false passport be transformed in the space of two years to a candidate for sainthood.

“As a result of an orchestrated campaign of sympathy and support by a brigade of lawyers, pseudo intellectuals and media commentators the facts of the case have become totally distorted.

“Zaoui is no longer the security threat that saw him evicted from France, Belgium and Switzerland – he is now portrayed as a martyr and a peacemaker.

“Ordinary New Zealanders are sickened by this sorry spectacle,” said Mr Peters.

ENDS

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