Order Paper and questions

Questions for oral answer

3. Immigration—Policy


3. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Minister of Immigration: Is he confident that his immigration policy is sufficiently protecting New Zealand from any adverse effects, including the threat of terrorism; if so, why?

Hon PAUL SWAIN (Minister of Immigration) : The Immigration Act was strengthened in 1999 with the aim of protecting New Zealand from adverse effects of immigration, including the threat of terrorism. Part IVA of that Act deals with people who pose a security risk. The Government is currently reviewing various aspects of the Act to ensure that it works more effectively.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Is he confident that Asha Ali Abdille, the refugee sickness beneficiary whom he ordered an inquiry into last year, and who has a string of criminal convictions, is not a threat to the New Zealand community; if so, why?

Hon PAUL SWAIN: Yes, I did order an inquiry into that. There were two issues: firstly, the seriousness of the alleged crimes, which is still being investigated, and, secondly, whether she was a fit and proper person to bring in other family members. That whole policy issue is one that I have currently under review.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Why was it, after an Official Information Act request to his office was lodged, that the reply came back with so many blanks such as that, with hardly a word on the page, that no one is any the wiser, including the blanking out of Asha Ali Abdille’s criminal history, and also the department’s recommendations being blanked out as to what to do with this woman who has been trying to bring 14 members of her family into this country; what on earth is going on?

Hon PAUL SWAIN: That information was released on advice.

Hon Tony Ryall: Has the Minister been made aware of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority decision 75081 made last year on 5 November, which is still suppressed for apparently exceptional reasons and involves an applicant of Jordanian/Palestinian background, and are there any security issues associated with that claim?

Hon PAUL SWAIN: I am not aware of decision 75081, and therefore cannot comment further.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I seek leave to table a document released under the Official Information Act from the Minister, which shows there is no information on it, at all.

  • Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.