Written By: - Date published: 6:40 pm, November 8th, 2018 - 91 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, Deep stuff, Dirty Politics, Iain Lees-Galloway, International, Politics, same old national - Tags: Iain Lees-Galloway, karel sroubek, michael woodhouse
Immigration Minister Iain Lees Galloway is in a bind. As long as Karel Sroubek remains in NZ, the Minister cannot reveal the full story of why his department’s advisers recommended the convicted drug smuggler be allowed to stay.
National’s Michael Woodhouse, a former Immigration Minister, knows full well that Lees Galloway cannot be completely transparent about the case. Woodhouse would have been in the same situation himself many, many times.
And this is central to the whole issue.
National are cynically manipulating rules they were entirely comfortable with when they were in Government.
Today’s latest attack is the supposed shock revelation that the Minister only took an hour to agree with his officials recommendations. I’m surprised ILG took that long, to be frank.
The way it works for Ministers, board chairs and CEO’s is that they get a report. In that document is what is called an ‘executive summary’, which is the main points of the report in short form. If any questions arise, then the reader dips further into the report. Clearly, this is what Lees Galloway did, and then he endorsed the recommendation.
It is as rare as rocking horse droppings for a Minister to go against advice. Often, when the proposal is rejected, it’s for entirely political reasons; the Minister is scared of a potential backlash.
I’m glad we have an Immigration Minister who can make the hard calls.
There’s no question that Karel Sroubek would normally be removed from the country.
However, he has done something, or offers something, that makes him valuable.
My best guess is that he turned whistleblower a couple of years ago and has done a deal to spill what he knows about drug importation networks.
If part of that deal was that the NZ Government would look favourably on his residency status, then perhaps we should ask the then Minister of Immigration, Michael Woodhouse, what he personally agreed to.
Or perhaps it’s a question for the man who was Minister of Police in 2015 at the time the Czech Republic indicated it was keen to have Sroubek deported.
Step forward … Michael Woodhouse.
Nah, the Sroubek residency is one the Nats would also have signed off.
And probably already have.