The heat still on Minister of Immigration

Pressure is still being applied to Minister of Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway over his decision to allow Czech Karel Sroubek to stay in New Zealand after he leaves prison (drug importation offences). Galloway has ordered an urgent review, but that may take weeks. The heat is still being applied.

Newsroom:  Immigration Minister in a precarious position

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway will be stuck between a rock and a hard place for as long as three weeks, as questions hang over his decision to grant residency to a convicted drug smuggler and gangster.

Lees-Galloway has spent the past week trying to explain his discretionary decision to grant Karel Sroubek residency – but without actually divulging any of the details of the case.

This has left him stuck in a politically precarious position where, upon legal advice, he is refusing to answer any substantive questions on the controversial issue. But the risk of making a further mess of things by spilling his secrets is much greater.

Understandably the Opposition and the wider public have been critical of Lees-Galloway’s decision – Sroubek is a man who came to New Zealand under a fake name, using fake documents, who was convicted for smuggling MDMA into the country, then granted residency as he feared for his life should he be deported to the Czech Republic.

The criticism of Lees-Galloway’s decision to cancel Sroubek’s deportation liability, coupled with the Minister saying as good as nothing about the particulars of the case, has left an information vacuum.

National will keep trying to fill the vacuum.

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42 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  November 2, 2018

    “Galloway has ordered an urgent review”
    The rest is churn.

    Reply
    • Embarrassing churn.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  November 2, 2018

      He’s churned his staff, Robert. Shouldn’t the buck stop with him as minister?

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  November 2, 2018

        Maybe he should check out how Woodhouse handled the Afghan multable rapist case,whose still here i suppose,and probably votes National

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  November 2, 2018

          What case? Does it matter? Is Woodhouse the immigration minister?

          Reply
        • duperez

           /  November 2, 2018

          Woodhouse isn’t the Minister. Woodhouse is the one saying the Minister didn’t do his job properly. Woodhouse is an expert on doing the job properly and is helping us understand why the Minister should resign.

          I give credit to Woodhouse for growing his expertise. Over some years he didn’t know what an Immigration Minister not doing his job properly looked like and did not know the grounds on which a Minister should resign.

          How he got to be in the position to feel he can comment on Immigration Ministers not doing a good job is a matter of public record. Some reasons were canvassed in the Bridges RNZ interview yesterday. Others are in the ‘allowed to stay after sex crimes against young girls’ category and some are in the ‘allowed to stay in New Zealand if not convicted in five years’ barrel.

          The Karel Sroubek event is brilliant for Simon Bridges and Michael Woodhouse. Turning it into the worst ministerial decision in the history of the country, turning Sroubek into the most dangerous person ever to have entered, sorry, being allowed to stay in the country, is manna in a desperate political situation.

          A cynic might even have the Bridges’ supporters hoping and praying that Sroubek does something terrible. In the same sort of circumstances I wonder if others would want those who Woodhouse hadn’t removed from the country, doing heinous things.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  November 2, 2018

            So Woodhouse is the immigration minister?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  November 2, 2018

              Former immigration minister Delamere says there were compelling grounds for National Immigration ministers…Coleman-Guy-and Woodhouse to deport Sroubeck years ago.
              False passport being the early one under Coleman.

            • duperez

               /  November 2, 2018

              He’s not the Minister. It could be said he’s shown he’s not a Minister’s arsehole. He’s just someone saying a lot of stuff, much of it nonsense, to help his party cross Dire Straits.

              Lees-Galloway is the Minister, the one who made a decision based on the information he had.

              An immigration lawyer this morning criticised the fact that cases like the Sroubek get to the Minister for consideration yet other ordinary situations are subjected to a tick box approach without human considerations.

              Maybe more than anything else the Sroubek case suggests that a tick box method should apply to each and every case and that Ministers should not have any part in any decisions. Not having some ‘ultimate authority’ at the highest level might seem silly.

              What it would achieve though is getting the politics out of it. It is just about impossible in the country to have rational, sensible, reasonable, calm, discussion about most anything to do with anything pertaining to politicians and politics. (Again we’re following the Yanks.)

              Political desperation and positioning is driving the bus. Common sense got off a few stops back.

            • Corky

               /  November 2, 2018

              He also said past Labour had some possibility in this affair,Blazer.

            • Corky

               /  November 2, 2018

              *responsibility*

      • Gezza

         /  November 2, 2018

        @ Corky

        He’s churned his staff, Robert. Shouldn’t the buck stop with him as minister?

        No. That convention was thrown out completely with the arrival of the Lange Douglas Administration & no Minister of any subsequent regime has ever taken any responsibility for decisions by their Department since.

        It was something of a shock to senior public servants that their cock ups now had to be worn by themselves, not by their Ministers, who would be the first to point the finger.

        This meant CEOs collectively immediately developed the now-standard but universally adopted unofficial policy of immediately conducting an investigation or internal review whose objective is find the person at the lowest point in the food chain, & who has the least power to fight back, who had anything whatsoever to do with the disaster – and place the blame squarely on their shoulders.

        Another useful tactic sometimes adopted by senior public servants is to get the Minister to agree in writing to a proposal or briefing consisting of what the officials want to do, where the issue could blow up in their faces, and if it does, & the Minister sends over a “Please Explain!” as the precursor to blaming them for the sorry affair that is erupting around his or her head, they can then point the Minister to the fact, and the evidence, that “you told us to”.

        Reply
        • NOEL

           /  November 2, 2018

          Briefings to incoming Minister are the best example Geeza.
          The pollies have lost sight of the maxim “I bring you the information and options, the decision is yours.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  November 2, 2018

            That’s true. But some newbie Ministers also take a while to learn a very basic lesson about senior public servants. If you don’t completely understand, or this could be a doozy of a decision if it’s the wrong one – ask them plenty of questions, while your Private Secretary is there.

            Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  November 2, 2018

    Beehive Letters:

    Reply
  3. NOEL

     /  November 2, 2018

    1 in 11 not worth worrying about.

    Reply
  4. robertguyton

     /  November 2, 2018


    As the great Simon Bridges said to Guyon, , the Minister is not expected to be a detective but relies on the information given to him in order to make a good decision.
    What! Bit that is what the current Minister said and was howled down by the Opposition. Contradictory? Hypocritical?”

    TS

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 2, 2018

      Absolutely ! That is what Oppositions do. Bastards !

      Cunliffe and Little were bloody shockers for it. Picking on every little niggle and departmental fuck up they could.

      (Goff was off soon & everyone knew it, and so didn’t bother much, and Shearer seemed always just as aghast as the tv reporters and viewers to hear the stumbling gibberish that issued from his mouth without any apparent pre-connection to the thinking parts of his brain – so, fortunately for the Government of the time, they weren”t quite so bad.)

      Surely you noticed this? Everybody else did. That’s why they were 9 long years in Opposition until Winston spotted his chance to seize power.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  November 2, 2018

        Yes, I spotted it alright, just as I’ve spotted this one! Did those other events pass un-commented upon? Do you think I should refrain from commenting as a result of the great restraint shown by those before me?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  November 2, 2018

          No, look no worries, robert, I was just checking if you remembered what Oppositions do. You’re not as young as you were. Memories sometimes fade …

          As long as you don’t completely forget this whole conversation in 5 minutes time, it’s all good – & you should just carry on. It’s obviously good for you. 👍

          If you feel you might need any assistance, just make the little orange dot appear on the white bell in the top right of my page and get to you as soon as I can. 🙂

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  November 2, 2018

            PS: Just thinking about some of your frequent copy & paste posts from some obviously rabid anti-National site. Do you sometimes do any original thinking yourself, or do you mostly just find it easier to let other people do your thinking for you, like Sir Alan sometimes does? o_O

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  November 2, 2018

              Original thinking? I’m not known for it. I like to flavour this site with comments from elsewhere – readers can chose not to read them if they’re not to their taste. If someone was really averse to reading the ideas of others, say, you, they’d be quite … uninformed, I’d have thought. I read widely, sift and sort, weigh-up and measure my thinking against others, then form a view. Works for me.

            • Gezza

               /  November 2, 2018

              Fair enuf. Just asking. I like to be original mostly, I think. Not one to just follow the group-think of anybody just because they’re my tribe. But I’m certainly prepared to update or change my views & opinions on matters if I see a good argument or evidence that indicates my thinking is wrong or inconsistent with my core internal values. I’m someone who reviews my beliefs and opinions every day to see whether I think they’re still valid. Mostly I conclude that, for me anyway, they are.

            • robertguyton

               /  November 2, 2018

              Do you have a tribe, Gezza? I do, but they aren’t the sorts to comment on blogs. I differ from them in that. Tribal thinking can be very valuable in keeping the tribe sound; encouraging each other, strengthening self-belief, affirming shared values.

            • Gezza

               /  November 2, 2018

              No, thinking about it, I don’t really have a tribe, robert. I’ve been in various tribes of one sort or another (eg bands, and walking and hiking groups to name a few off the top of my head) but I like tribes that consist of people with different talents and views because those who all seem to think alike always seem to end up trying to constrain my views and thinking and put me into their little boxes which they can’t easily see out of and smell the roses, and I just don’t put up with that.

            • robertguyton

               /  November 2, 2018

              Tribal people don’t have to think alike, Gazza and those that do perhaps, fall into the category that you’ve described. My tribe’s woven together through their hearts and no one’s trying to constrain any other’s views.

            • Gezza

               /  November 2, 2018

              Depends what tribe we’re talking about and in what area of one’s life or interests robert. Anyway, finished with the introspective stuff here now. Taking up too much space.

        • Gezza

           /  November 2, 2018

          Did those other events pass un-commented upon?
          Certainly not! Although I was only just becoming aware there was such a thing as political blogs around that time.

          I first encountered Wail Oil and thought this looks interesting because campaign against name suppression and rude names and rude words were said a lot at the time, but I quickly went off that site because of the whole tenor of the thing seemed one-eyed and just plain nasty.

          Next I spent some time on TS, before concluding it wasn’t all that much of a step up in tone from WO, with the bias leaning in the opposite direction, although there were a number of posters including some righties who were intelligent at putting their thoughts down in writing and giving some interesting perspectives. Regretably Lprent, I soon realised, wasn’t one of them.

          But certainly on TS it was impossible not to notice that poor David Shearer was even known to the most benign and caring of lefties there as Captain Mumblefuck.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  November 2, 2018

            Oh yeah, I remember now, that I also had a look at Kiwiblog for a while but as a non-National voter, and being someone who, as a swing voter (because in my view, most sensible people are) tends to look at all parties with a healthy measure of skepticism, and political issues with as objective an assessment as I can manage at the time – I was totally put off by the types of people and comments that infect that blog, and that occasionally seem to tip my dear neighbour. Lurchy, down the motorway South a bit, right over the edge at times.

            Then one day I noticed on TS the horde of killer bees seemed to be frequently piling in to some poor devil they called the Beige Badger for often just questioning something someone said – banning the poor bugger and expressing the most awful calumnies about him.

            So I somehow found this blog and I read it for a while & as well as a couple of weirdos not counting Sir Alan of course and some obviously nasty people trying to get the blog in trouble (the history of whom I knew nothing at the time) I thought, this one’s a quirky blog & that Badger seems like a nice blogmeister with a high tolerance for dissenting and competing viewpoints, with a superb talent at political analysis and few noticeable strong biases, so this was the blog I decided to haunt and see how it worked out for me.

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  November 2, 2018

              You rise in defence of Pete the “beige badger” as you call him, haunting his blog an stepping up if some interloper pokes his borax – now I understand, Gezza. I imagine if someone was banned from here, you’d say, “serves ‘im right!”, but Pete’s not infrequent banning from TS doesn’t elicit the same comment from you – curious! Pete seems a nice enough guy, but almost completely tone-deaf, politically, when expressing himself on a left-wing blog. Seems he’s the same on the right-wing blogs too. Nothing wrong with that; he’s made his own and sets “Pete’s tone” here, as he’s entitled to do.

            • Corky

               /  November 2, 2018

              I was doing some research a while back at the TS and was amazed how Pete attracted as you say, ‘the horde of killer bees” to some of his most innocuous comments.

              Their MO seemed to be twist what Pete said into not what he said, then discard any attempt by Pete to clarify. Next, become offended, then start blowing smoke up each others arses.

              At that point the moderator steps in..calls Pete a shit stirrer for not following posting guidelines, then bans him.😃

              Absolutely bizarre…but very explainable.

            • Gezza

               /  November 2, 2018

              No there are a number of inaccuracies in there, as seems to be quite common with you. Certainly in respect of your understanding anything about, even after I have taken quite some pains to give you some insights in the past. Let me explain.

              You rise in defence of Pete the “beige badger” as you call him
              Actually, that’s the name some nasty TS plonkers were calling him meant as insult, but I thought it was rather cute. So I don’t call him that, I was telling you what they called him. You are very poor at reading for comprehension, we have discussed this before & sadly I detect no improvement at all yet

              haunting his blog
              I guess I am here rather a lot, but I’m retired and mostly enjoying being in and around my property, so I can look in on the site quite often and I imagine it gives some people the impression I never leave it. I used that word haunt tongue-in-cheek.

              and stepping up if some interloper pokes his borax
              No I often just ignore plonking and plonkers, or people who come here seemingly just to make utter dicks of themselves or try to compromise his blog. He is more than capable of ripping their undies off in public on his own blog without raising a sweat, no worries on that score. Smart arses I do like to entertain and then demolish if possible, if I’m of a mind to that day, but it’s mostly just harmless fun – to me anyway. If they’ve got no sense of humour it can get a bit tragic sometimes.

              now I understand, Gezza
              No you don’t. You don’t so bad I keep having to explain the simplest things to you about me over and over. I’m complicated. More than most people. It’s been hell getting to know myself growing up, so I know how hard it must be for you because you’re so simple. As a personality I mean. It must be farkin boring for everyone else seeing me have to educate you on so many basic errors and incorrect assumptions you make about me because you are a shit judge of people who don’t think like you and are inclined to simply project the way you think on to them and reverse it. This can never be done with me. It’s not how I am. Others have learnt not to do that.

              I imagine if someone was banned from here, you’d say, “serves ‘im right!”
              Probably I would, and it would. It seems to only ever happen when someone’s proven to have real evil intent.

              but Pete’s not infrequent banning from TS doesn’t elicit the same comment from you
              Well that’s not true for a start, I have in fact commented several times, asking why he bothers to visit that wasps’ nest and poke sticks at it.

              Pete seems a nice enough guy, but almost completely tone-deaf, politically, when expressing himself on a left-wing blog.
              No he’s not tone deaf at all – what he usually does, when I’ve been interested enuf to go and have a look at what’s caused their latest outraged projectile vomiting of him from their premises – is that he’s often asked some mild question in the nature of “do they see their own hypocrisy” in some piece of absurd bigoted one-eyed ranting or other.

              Seems he’s the same on the right-wing blogs too. Nothing wrong with that; he’s made his own and sets “Pete’s tone” here, as he’s entitled to do.
              Couldn’t say about the right wing blogs; tend to avoid them now unless Corks or some occasional visitor who held their nose and went there posts a link to something particularly relevant or nasty over there, and I want to have a quick squiz at how foul or interesting it is.

              Pete’s tone here I think is very tolerant & it takes a lot of abuse to provoke him in my experience. Shit-heads get a lot of leeway before he ever contemplates taking them apart, and even then if they’re not compromising him or his blog, or threatening regular posters, he lets them go on making complete dicks of themselves if every now and then they might have a gem amongst all their raving dross.

              My view anyway. Thanks for sharing yours, robert. 👍

            • Gezza

               /  November 2, 2018

              Correction. Para 1, line 3. Soz.
              *…certainly in respect of your understanding anything about me, even after I have taken quite some pains…

            • Gezza

               /  November 2, 2018

              @ Corky
              Please don’t just butt in again on me like without giving a call or something first so that I know I need to say @robert when I have a significant piece of work like the one I just had to do to explain the most simple things to him.

              Nevertheless I think your insights inserted between robert’s comment and my reply above are are very good and I agree with them entirely, which is not something that happens often.

            • Corky

               /  November 2, 2018

              Look, I’m very sorry, Gezza..but I thought it was a blog. I can promise you it wont happen again.

            • Gezza

               /  November 2, 2018

              Shit! Sorry Corks. The fault’s all mine bro. I just checked, and you’re right about this being a blog. Dunno what I was thinking – but is it ok if I just blame robert, and we then we rule a line under this one and start again?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 2, 2018

              It’s only a blog in Corky’s opinion when he is the one doing the butting in, contradicting and disagreeing. When it’s someone else, they are trolling and butting in on a conversation.

            • Corky

               /  November 2, 2018

              Yeah,sorry once again, Gezza. I know how annoying that can be. I have lost track of the times I’m replying to someone, and magically someone posts before me. Strange. So I can understand why you are hoha..e hoa.

              I

            • Gezza

               /  November 2, 2018

              I’m not really hoha Corks. It’s all been great fun & loved your work bro. 😉

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