Ardern wants Sroubek residency review fast tracked

KiwiFirewalker: Oh so now NZ wants to talk about about immigration!

There was a lot of talk about immigration in last year’s election campaign, but until the Sroubek issue came up the Government has kept fairly quiet – probably because their election promises (Labour’s and NZ First’s) seemed to have been put aside.

Its funny isn’t it that the immigration debate in New Zealand can limp along with barely any discussion on exactly how problematic the situation is for years until a Czech drug smuggler gets permanent residence then people loose their minds.

There has been some good coverage over time, such as Steve Kilgallon and Dileepa Fonseka’s excellent series of articles on Stuff about exactly how widespread migrant exploitation in NZ is and how badly our immigration system is being rorted, but I have not herd the words “migrant exploitation” or “immigration rort” in the last six months as much as I have herd the words “Czech drug-smuggler” in the last week.

Ian Lees-Galloway, as Minister of Immigration, made his decision about Karel Sroubek in one of the three following contexts:

1. Lees-Galloway (or one of his minions*) did not actually read past the cover sheet and just made their decision on the easy (but incorrect) emotion angle of the case,

2. Lees-Galloway read the file but the file the file did not have all the info so the decision was made with incomplete information, or

3. Sroubek was given residency as part of some deal with the Police, or some other agency, as part of his connection to the Hell’s Angels and drugs smuggling in NZ.

Any of the above could be true but since we are listing facts about this case then lets list a few more.

4. Immigration NZ is run like a fast food franchise with lowly paid employees, quantity over quality decision making, outsourced  and offshore functions** and a risk adverse senior management which knows the problems exist but will not face them,

5. Appeals to the Minister of Immigration only make it to their desk when ALL other avenues are closed and things are looking BAD (as in nobody wanted to approve your application), and

6. Its a total crap shoot when your case is gone to the minister for appeal, anything could happen.

In my five years at Immigration NZ I watched all sorts of cases get declined at every single other level and then go to the minister for final judgement and in some cases people that should definitely not be allowed into the country got to stay while those who had cases with the most compassionate grounds ever get rejected outright with no reason or explanation, because at that level the Ministers power is effectively absolute and there is no appeal if you loose (or in the case of those highly questionable individuals who got in: won).

That said the Minister can also make the right decision and one of the most heart wrenching cases of my career, that I was unable to approve despite it being a obvious “yes”, finally got approved later by the Minister; to my utter happiness, and relief.

A bouquet for a National Minister of Immigration:

And for the record the Minister that I, and most of my fellow Immigration officers, felt made the best decisions was Michael Woodhouse.

And a brickbat for another:

For whatever reason when it usually needed to be declined he did and when it needed an approved he approved while, in my time at least, the worst  Minister was Jonathan Coleman who we could only believe was deliberately doing the opposite of what should be done, every single time, as there seemed to be no other rational explanation for the atrocious range of appalling decisions he made…

It’s not the party that matters, it’s the personality of the Minister.

So the real questions in these circumstances is not “why did the minister approve Sroubek” but how can Peter Thiel get the red carpet treatment but Karel Sroubek cannot?

Two of the most controversial residents.

Yet the likely outcome is Sroubek will go while Theil and Yang get to stay because apparently Kiwis can only get outraged about immigration issues when its drugs and not abuses by the wealthy,  obvious cases of espionage, migrant exploitation or marriage-for-residency scams which makes this less a genuine issue and more the most recent round of “wont someone think of the children!”.

So lets not turn the issue into another round of political point scoring or as an obvious distraction from a genuine high crime, like National selling slots in their party to the highest foreign bidder, but instead say “yes” to kicking Sroubek out but lets also get rid of that billionaire guy who got citizenship only because he’s filthy rich and that lying intelligence operative for a hostile power who is also, mysteriously, a sitting MP.

If Sroubek goes so should Thiel, Yang and all those other “economic citizens” who will have the dollars to buy a seat in Parliament because its just not right.

Good discussion points, but apart from Sroubek I doubt there will be any change for Thiel and Yang.

 

Leave a comment

41 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  November 6, 2018

    KiwiFirewalker gets a chance to get his political views out but also plainly explain how cases work with Immigration.

    Explaining the contexts in which Minister Lees-Galloway made his decision suggests that in a sense the Sroubek case is unexceptional. What is different is the political environment.

    There have been many vehement calls for Lees-Galloway to resign for not doing his job. I wonder how much time he’s spent on positively doing his job and having a clear mind to do his job in the past couple of weeks.

    Reply
    • 100% agree.. Immigration was a big election issue , but they do not seem to be doing much to plug the holes ,,,, I am puzzled about this especially with NZFirst seeming to have gone quiet on its most vocal platform. The one that caught the most votes for them.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  November 6, 2018

        Immigration is an issue for NZ First on a regular basis ONLY for the purpose of attracting the votes of the anti-non white immigrant old timer redneck element. There is never any intention to actually DO anything about immigration.

        Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  November 6, 2018

    he makes good points…’lowly paid employees’.

    ‘ then people loose their minds.’…most commonly misspelt word in the English language.

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  November 6, 2018

      Yes, some people are very lose with their use of language.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  November 6, 2018

        Lowly isn’t the opposite of highly, either. People are lowly, but they aren’t highly.

        Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  November 6, 2018

          I don’t know Kitty. Some people on this blog are very highly…strung.

          Lowly seems to have been used correctly in this case:

          lowly

          adjective
          low in status or importance; humble.
          “she’d been too good for her lowly position”
          synonyms: humble, low, low-born, low-bred, low-ranking, plebeian, proletarian, peasant, poor; More

          adverb
          to a low degree; in a low manner.
          “lowly paid workers”

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  November 6, 2018

            It sounds wrong as an adverb, somehow. I had always thought that it was one of those oddities in English, and one seldom, if ever, hears it as an adverb rather than an adjective,

            But highly can’t be used as an adjective, He is highly….highly what?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  November 6, 2018

              Of course it can. You are highly literate and highly qualified to comment on English literature. Someone can be highly skilled and highly paid. These are common usages. I reckon you should let this one go now Kitty.

            • Gezza

               /  November 6, 2018

              (And I think you meant highly can’t be used as a noun)

            • Gezza

               /  November 6, 2018

              No, sorry – I take that back: I just checked & i think you correct, Kitty. Words like skilled paid and qualified are adjectives, so “highly” is an adverb, not an adjective.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 7, 2018

              I know I am. Nobody would say that X is a highly builder, they’d say a highly skilled builder.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  November 6, 2018

            I’m with HFD. It can be an adjective or adverb as per the examples he gives.

            Reply
            • High Flying Duck

               /  November 6, 2018

              But Kitty / Gezza are correct that Highly is only an adveb and cannot be used as an adjective. As such it is not an “opposite” to lowly.
              However, Kitty’s comment was a non-sequitur in relation to the original comment by Blazer, so I’m not sure if there was any relevance in saying so.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 6, 2018

              That’s just wrong. Oxford English Dictionary:

              lowly
              ADJECTIVE
              1Low in status or importance; humble.

              ‘she’d been too good for her lowly position’
              More example sentences
              ‘A tan face signifies the status of a lowly peasant who has worked in the fields all her life.’
              ‘The lowly chow of the rural poor has gone highbrow.’
              ‘Despite its lowly status, mucus plays a valuable role in the body.’
              ‘Artists might live in a patron’s household, as lowly servant or close companion.’
              ‘And like any self-respecting vanguard, this one started under very lowly circumstances.’
              ‘Crooks refused to put too much emphasis on the club’s lowly league position after all the problems they have encountered this season.’
              ‘For a lowly freshman she sure had a lot of excess attitude.’
              ‘It was easy for Gabrielle to wish for a Cinderella life, for she was a lowly servant living a life of labor, obedience, and pain.’
              ‘He had status, ultimate power and the chance to win the glory denied him on land by his lowly position in the rigid social hierarchy of 18th – century Britain.’
              ‘From the lowly clerk, to the highly placed minister, everyone is corrupt.’
              ‘Ah well, at least I can get a concession ticket now, thanks to my lowly student status.’
              ‘Brelghtmet will be still be disappointed with their lowly position as a number of their defeats have been close and could have gone either way.’
              ‘Resigned to his status as a lowly hospital attendant at the Whitestone Sanitarium, Jerome dreams of the day he can once again ply the Hippocratic oath.’
              ‘I mean after all wasn’t Jesus a humble lowly carpenter!’
              ‘He came to live among us, not in ‘Buckingham Palace with royalty’ but as a carpenter in a humble home in the lowly village of Nazareth.’
              ‘Johnny, too, believes the country community has been given a lowly status by politicians.’
              ‘Despite their relatively lowly beginnings, however, all have even greater power than their predecessors.’
              ‘Certainly they rarely showed any sign of looking like champions after a good opening spell, as Kirkcaldy showed a fighting spirit which belied their lowly status.’
              ‘We’re lowly freshman, at the hands of the seniors.’
              ‘In the last of the quarter-finals Castleford belied their lowly position to defeat Scarborough.’
              1.1 (of an organism) primitive or simple.
              Example sentences
              ‘Even the lowliest creatures ensure they have a decent home before they start breeding.’
              ‘It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.’
              ‘Darwin’s last major publication was a treatise on the lowly earthworm that exemplified the meticulous scientific method that brought him to fame.’
              ‘Yet even this lowly creature, which can circumvent sex and simply bud like a clump of daylilies, can mouth a Wnt sentence – and use it to guide development.’

            • Gezza

               /  November 6, 2018

              HFD and I are talking about “highly” Alan
              You can wrestle away with lowly though. I don’t care about that word.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 6, 2018

              Oops, how did I misread all that?

          • Maggy Wassilieff

             /  November 6, 2018
            Reply
  3. Sunny

     /  November 6, 2018

    Peter Thiel isn’t a convicted criminal, it was supported by NZ’s leading businessman, and it was easy to see the advantage he could potentially bring to NZ and why the decision would have been made. Sroubek is a convicted drug dealer that came in on a faked passport involved with the hells angels, let off on a technicality for more drug and kidnapping charges, and wanted in his home country re a murder investigation in which he drove the getaway car with the murderer and the gun, and some other crimes. Even if Lees-Galloway only read a cover sheet summary and had a fraction of the information, how could it not be blindingly obvious that this guy should be sent back.
    Sroubek’s history wouldn’t stand up to a routine police background check required to go as a parent supervisor on the school camp. And then Ardern and Peters defend the decision until the information goes public. Shocking. Something smells very fishy.

    Reply
    • unitedtribes2

       /  November 6, 2018

      Well said Sunny. I just can’t understand the rational of the above article. How anyone could compare the two people is beyond me.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  November 6, 2018

        Makes you wonder how objective and valid some of his/her other opinions and judgements are.

        Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  November 6, 2018

        By their own standards the writer was just an overworked and lowly paid employee. Other than a little inside knowledge, all they can offer is their political bias.

        Reply
    • Grumpy

       /  November 6, 2018

      Aw Sunny, you poor misguided fool……Thiel is much, much worse than Sroubek! Not only is he a “rich prick” but he supports Trump!

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  November 6, 2018

        I don’t know the details of the scheme that lets people in if they invest so much in the country, but assume that these people got in with that. It’s quite above board and has been for a long time.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  November 6, 2018

          Good luck with offering to do a deal with the police in exchange for anything except a conviction.

          Reply
  4. Corky

     /  November 6, 2018

    Of course she can’t ‘ Witch Hunt.’ Another sacked minister would make the gummint look bad. Best just spin while we come up with something. The sooner the better.

    Reply
  5. lurcher1948

     /  November 6, 2018

    David Farrar spinning to cover the National/JLR saga posts an attack post, [deleted, no evidence of that – PG]
    Ardern also defended Lees-Galloway and said on Friday that the minister had to rely on the information put in front of him.
    How weak.
    Poor David Farrar,he will be pulling his hair out soon(no matter what i post Jacinda Ardern is a popular PM)

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  November 6, 2018

      [deleted, no evidence of that – PG]
      WTF! You have to provide evidence to support opinion!! And mildly expressed opinion at that??
      Pete. you’ve gone silly. I notice you deletions always fall on Lefties; why’s that???

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  November 6, 2018

        You obviously haven’t seen some of the stuff Lurch posts before it gets deleted. Some other blogs would just ban him, and they wouldn’t put up with you for long either.

        Reply
      • a) Asssertions are not opinions, neither is trying to disguise allegations as opinions.
        b) My deletions don’t ‘always fall on lefties’. Perhaps non-lefties get what this blog is about better then some lefties.

        I happen to think that if people make serious assertions or allegations they should be able to back them up with some sort of evidence. That’s just how it is here, and I think it generally works fairly well.

        Another thing I may start to delete is repeated quibbling about moderation here. I don’t have the time or inclination to play silly buggers who appear to be more intent on attack and disruption rather than genuine discussion.

        Reply
  6. Gerrit

     /  November 6, 2018

    Either Lees-Galloway was totally misinformed or he was simply rubber stamping.

    Someone not tell him or he did no research that Sroubek forced a witness into the witness protection scheme.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12155462

    Not looking good either way for Lees-Galloway.

    Either totally inept or doing someones dirty work and being the fall guy.

    PM needs to step up and take decisive action before the thousand and one cuts cause a major bleed.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 6, 2018

      The thousand and one cuts aren’t going to make a dent in the reality that at least – maybe more than – half of the 18 year old to 50 year old female voting demographic in this country are going to vote for Labour, because they are voting for Jacinda at the next election, no matter what happens, and that’s that.

      And that includes probably most of the young ladies still in, or recently from, the households of the well-to-do National-voting mum and dad conservative set – because of the education system & the idealism of the young.

      If her government ends up pissing some of them off, it won’t be until at least the end of their second term. That’s what the last poll says – and I’m chatty as hell and I can get out of people their voting intentions and that’s what my constant polling is showing as well. PS: My second Indian dairy owner admitted yesterday when no one else was in the shop that he voted National & he probably will again, but possibly not if Bridges is still leader.

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  November 6, 2018

        The best National can hope for in this one is that it takes the steam out of the JLR affair for a while and gives it time to dissipate.
        It is very hard to paint the Government as incompetent when (whatever the actual merits are) there is dissension in your own ranks.
        ILG was doing a fair job until this hit. I thought he was one of the better performers having heard him interviewed. Incredible how one thing can derail a whole career (at least temporarily).

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  November 6, 2018

          There is certainly truth in that axiom: A week is a long time in politics, HFD.

          Ministers can easily recover from cock ups with a solid performance and even just sometimes a low profile with no more stuff-ups afterwards. He scored a win as having integrity & commitment to free speech when he let Southern & Molyneux in against the wishes of Labour and Green anti-free speech luvvies.

          Bridges’ enemies know that axiom too, so the plan is obviously to have many week of shit-stirring. He might be starting to pick up some sympathy votes from the public though because although the tv msm females dimbo reporters and presenters are breathlessly doing the sensationalist “shock horror” performance, I’m picking up that ordinary folk who don’t much like Bridges feel that the news media and unfairly shafting him for headlines & they detest JLR.

          Reply
  7. Blazer

     /  November 6, 2018

    Mitchell not Collins is the Lusl/Slater champion.

    Reply
    • Was. I have seen nothing to suggest he still is. Slater has stopped promoting him ages ago.

      Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  November 6, 2018

      [deleted – don’t put into comments anything that appears like a bracketed commented by me that I have not done. PG]

      Reply
  8. Gezza

     /  November 6, 2018

    Reply

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