26 Apr 2017

Former Immigration Minister backs Woodhouse over suspension

From Morning Report, 8:11 am on 26 April 2017

A former Immigration Minister says Michael Woodhouse has done the right thing by stopping officials from deciding whether to deport immigrants found guilty of criminal offences.

On Monday it emerged an Afghani man had been allowed to stay in New Zealand despite two convictions for sexual offending, including against a child.

Mr Woodhouse said the decision did not meet his expectations and he was suspending the power of officials to make such decisions on his behalf until he's satisfied a better process is in place.

Aussie Malcolm, the founder of the Malcolm Pacific Immigration consultancy and  a Minister of Immigration in the Muldoon government says these types of decisions are political.

"Politicians are elected to do difficult and and dirty jobs and they're paid to do it. There's been this tendency over the past few years for politicians to offload all the hard work onto bureaucrats. I'm sorry, you can't do that!"