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Visa-gate: Clark puts votes ahead of integrity

20 September 2005

Visa-gate: Clark puts votes ahead of integrity

National MP Tony Ryall says Helen Clark waited till her Associate Pacific Island Affairs Minister had secured her a strong South Auckland vote before investigating his role in the Visa-gate immigration scandal.

Taito Philip Field tried to get Associate Immigration Minister Damien O'Connor to grant a work permit for an overstayer who did some work on Mr Field's house in Samoa.

"This is typical politics-before-integrity from Helen Clark.

"A Minister is clearly involved in a conflict of interest which contravenes instructions in the Cabinet Manual but she doesn't act because it could hurt her election chances.

"So she waits until he secures the large South Auckland vote for her - with the biggest electorate majority in Parliament - before she says he will be investigated.

"She has known about this for more than a week but has refused to even acknowledge its existence until now.

"This is the cynical party that smaller parties are being invited to join. The shadow of scandal hangs over Labour in these coalition talks.

"Ministers must never benefit or be seen to benefit personally from their actions," says Mr Ryall

ENDS

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