Iain Lees-Galloway 'made the wrong decision' over Sroubek

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Friday, 9 November 2018, 7:11AM
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway admitted he didn't read the full file before granting Karel Sroubek residency.

A former Immigration Minister says Iain Lees-Galloway is out of touch with "ordinary Kiwis" after he admitted he didn't read the full file before granting residency to Czech drug smuggler Karel Sroubek.

The Immigration Minister made the decision "within about an hour or so" but he denied he was being sloppy and said he followed the proper process.

"I read various aspects of the full file. I didn't rely solely on the summary. This is the usual process for these decisions.

"I took much, much longer on this decision than I have on other decisions, and I'm following exactly the process that I inherited from the previous minister."

Lees-Galloway has previously said that the decision was one of the hardest he has had to make.

Former Immigration Minister, Aussie Malcolm told Kate Hawkesby Lees-Galloway has "got himself a bit removed from reality".

"A Minister of Immigration is called on to make lots and lots of personal decisions about the lives of individuals and, of course, they are hard decisions, some of them are gut-wrenching. But there is a process a good Minister has to go through and part of it is having an instinct for what's acceptable in the public arena."

He said Sroubek's case is "full of red signals" which Lees-Galloway should have taken into account.

"Drug dealer, gang member, in prison, you don't make a quick and easy decision to allow a man like that to stay in New Zealand, not if you're going to keep in touch with the reality of ordinary Kiwi thinking."

Malcolm said the "Immigration Service is very good at putting all the core facts before the Minister".

"In prison - that would have been disclosed. Drug dealer - that would have been disclosed. Criminal - that would have been disclosed. Associate of a nasty gang- that would have been disclosed."

"It's not as if the Immigration Service has gone out of its way to somehow mislead poor old Mr Lees-Galloway. Mr Lees-Galloway has looked at all this information and made the wrong decision."


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