Statement from Minister Faafoi
Hon Kris Faafoi
6 December 2019 PĀNUI PĀPĀHO
I have apologised to the Prime Minister and understand I have let her down in regards to my dealings with Jason Kerrison over an immigration matter concerning his family.
I know I need to be more upfront in the future about what I can and can’t do if I’m approached for help.
I was contacted by Jason, who is an old family friend, to see if I could help him with his step-father’s immigration case.
Rather than telling Jason straight away I couldn’t do anything to help him, I said I would look into it; as MPs are allowed to do in these cases.
I made contact with the Associate Immigration Minister’s Office to seek advice on the appropriate process. They told me to refer him to his local MP and that I could write a support letter.
Following that conversation I told Mr Kerrison he needed to talk to his local electorate MP and I called Matt King to let him know about the case.
I contacted Jason’s mother to offer to write a supporting letter, as I had been advised I could, and got some more details for the letter. However, I never wrote the letter.
I stupidly created an impression through my messages that I was following up on it when in fact I wasn’t. I was uncomfortable with him messaging me pretty regularly on it and you can see I stopped responding to his texts.
In hindsight I should have just been clear and told him I couldn’t help and just to deal with his local MP. But aside from checking to see what the proper process was for me to follow I took no other actions, and specifically took no actions to advance it, influence it, or advocate for it.
I acknowledge this is messy and you could read other meaning into my messages. But I can hand on heart say I wasn’t doing anything to advance the case, and the messages just reflect me not wanting to let a mate down. In hindsight I should have been clearer with him.
I’ve apologised to the Prime Minister and understand I have let her down. I know I need to be more upfront in the future about what I can and can’t do if I’m approached for help.
The Minister is releasing all communications to do with this issue. Private information (application numbers or contact details) have been removed. (see attached).