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Visa-gate inquiry - once over lightly?

Hon. Tony Ryall
National Party MP

22 September 2005

Visa-gate inquiry - once over lightly?

National MP Tony Ryall says the QC investigation into Labour’s Associate Pacific Island Affairs Minister Taito Philip Field is completely inadequate and may not get to the bottom of the allegations.

“Giving the QC investigation nine working days shows that Labour wants a once-over-lightly job.

“All Labour wants is for the QC to put a lid on their can of worms.

“The nine-day timeframe is totally inadequate for a proper investigation, particularly, when you consider the QC has still not been properly instructed and that he will be required to visit Samoa to interview the tiler in those nine days.

”It is also unclear if he will be able to subpoena witnesses, and it looks like he has to only identify other matters arising during the inquiry, rather than actually investigating them.

“This is the latest in a long line of investigations into the actions of Labour Ministers in the past few years.

“The latest includes police speaking this week to Minister Benson-Pope. Although the complaint was referred to police weeks before the election, the Minister will only be spoken to after the election. How convenient.

“Never has a ministry been subject to so many formal investigations by police and other authorities: Helen Clark for the motorcade and Paintergate, as well as Pete Hodgson, Dover Samuels, Leanne Dalziel, John Tamihere, Ruth Dyson, Harry Duynhoven, Marion Hobbs, Pete Hodgson and Phillida Bunkle – all ministers and former ministers under a cloud since Labour came to power in 1999.

“This looks like Queensland in the 1980s.

“Labour’s potential coalition partners should stop and reflect on what sort of mess they could be walking into. They need to be very wary of the sort of people they are dealing with,” says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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