Labour official in immigration probe

July 22nd, 2009 at 9:57 am by David Farrar

The Herald report:

A Party official is being investigated over irregularities, just weeks after he helped Labour MP Su’a William Sio facilitate a meeting with Pacific Islanders duped in a fake-visa scam.

Immigration New Zealand confirmed it was investigating Semisi Faka’osikimuli, the secretary of the Labour Party’s Tongan branch, but would not disclose details or comment further while the investigation is going on.

There comes a point at which you wonder if certain problems are due to individuals, or are institutional. We have the current trial of . We have the unresolved issue of why Bill Liu was granted citizenship by despite official advice of his criminal record in China and offences in Australia. We have the Choudary immigration scam. There was also the dropping of list candidate over allegations of bribery. And now this case. Important to note only Choudary has been convicted of crimes.

The Herald understands the investigation centres around fake skilled employment offers to help immigrants get New Zealand work permits and residencies, but it is not clear how much money or how many people were involved.

No doubt details will emerge in time.

Mr Sio said he had known Mr Faka’osikimuli for two years and had worked with him in various capacities – most recently at a meeting with Pacific Islander victims of a fake residency stamps and visa scam on July 4, where Mr Faka’osikimuli chaired the Tongan group.

“He’s an active member of the Labour Party, and like many members of the local Pacific community, Semisi comes regularly to my electorate office in Mangere,” Mr Sio said.

The question is whether the alleged scam was being run out of Sio’s office, and whether that office was used for meetings. Regardless of the criminal allegations, commercial money making ventures should not be using MPs offices.

Han Jian, a former client of Mr Faka’osikimuli – whom he knows as James Semisi – said he decided to lodge a report to the police and Immigration, after receiving a letter from Immigration accusing him of fraud and submitting fake employment job offer documents, and for falsely claiming he had an offer of skilled employment from a company, TVP Computers.

“I was shocked, because I didn’t go for any interviews and didn’t even know I had any job offer, and I definitely did not submit anything to Immigration,” said Mr Han in Mandarin.

“After paying James about $14,000, all he said was to trust him and that is what I did. I thought with his involvement in the Labour Party, he will have good connections with Immigration.”

And this is what I mean about is there institutional issues. Regardless of the criminal issues against Field, it is very clear that his mate the Associate Minister was massively more likely to allow someone to gain residency here if Field acted on behalf of the migrant. There seem to be strong incentives that if Labour is in Government, you deal with people connected with Labour to gain residency or for Bill Liu citizenship.

Regardless of the change of Government, I would like to see much more transparency around MPs involvement in immigration issues. Maybe a quarterly report of the number of applications sponsored by MPs, and their sucess rates. If we had this years ago, it would have been obvious that Ministers were whitelighting almost all applications sponsored by Field.

According to Immigration documents, the application papers were submitted by Rosie Brown, JP, a community worker who works part-time out of Mr Sio’s electorate office.

Again, this may not be about individuals, but institutions.

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36 Responses to “Labour official in immigration probe”

  1. ernesto (257 comments) says:

    Kanwaldeep Singh, Richard Worth… perhaps the institution is the political one. There are very few, if any, politicians who aren’t in the power game for their own selfish ends. I can’t think of one. Altruism is dead.

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  2. grumpy (255 comments) says:

    Not to mention Mary Anne Thompson.

    No better way to hide a scam than in a dysfunctional Department – funny it was the Pacific Division isn’t it?

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  3. Bok (740 comments) says:

    God this is like “waiting for Godot’ hours and hours, days and days forever sitting watching a procession of Labour crims shuffling past…
    Off to front some low level court with not a newspaper really going after them.
    I think people like Mallard and others are starting to wear their corruption and criminal behavior like a badge of honour..
    A sort of two fingered salute to those who voted them out of power.

    “Stuff you NZ, you chinless, scarfwearers, golfers and rich pricks, we do as we want so piss off..”

    The sad thing is that hey are sort of right.

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  4. Inventory2 (10,264 comments) says:

    When you mention Bill Liu DPF, don’t forget that David Cunliffe is deeply implicated – it’s not just about Shane Jones. Nine months before the citizenship decision Cunliffe was advised by his officials to revoke Liu’s NZ residency due to concerns over duplicate passports/identities. Cunliffe did not follow that advice, and let Liu remain. He needs to be asked why.

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  5. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,875 comments) says:

    I see the scam was actually being run out of Sio’s office by a Justice of the Peace, no less. The sort of person who has the power to put a fellow up for a jury trial because he joshed a kid over the head with a swmal cushion. It will be interesting to see the background of this particular JP fleshed out a little.

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  6. wreck1080 (3,864 comments) says:

    Nepotism and graft are part of the island way, is it not?

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  7. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    The rotting corpse of Clark’s socialist regime exhuding pus. Her minions, acolytes and lackeys are no saints, after all.

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  8. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    DPF

    He is a minor office holder in the LP, not much more than an ordinary member.

    Can you confirm that every member of the National Party has never done anything wrong?

    Inventory2

    Cunliffe did not decide to allow Liu to stay in New Zealand. He sought further information from the department. It is a shame that more ministers are not as proactive or as careful as he was.

    [DPF: Careful. So what do you call Shane Jones actions in giving him citizenship? Was that careful?

    And he may only be a branch chairman, but if was operating of of the MPs office, and using the MPs staff, then that is why I raise the possibility this is about institutions not individuals]

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  9. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,875 comments) says:

    Funny thing, mickey, is if you look closely at the photo in The Herald you will see the ugly mug of your ex dear leader next to your innocently ‘ordinary’ member at a formal ceremony. So, your ‘ordinary member’ was sitting at the right hand of God, being fanned by her minions? Some ordinary member! I think you are lying through your teeth.

    I’m sure the presidents and secretaries of the Samoan, Korean and Chinese Labour Party branches will not smile at your implied insult.

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  10. sheath (63 comments) says:

    Wonder if they have applied for to be a licensed Immigration Adviser as per Immigration Adviser Authority. http://www.iaa.govt.nz. He does not appear of the list as being approved (but it does take some time).

    Be funny if the guy as stung on the own authority the previous government introduced!

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  11. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Whatever happened to Mary Anne Thompson? Is that resolved yet or has it been quietly put to rest by the MSM “yet again” as seems to happen on a regular basis when it involves shit in the fan and Labour people?

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  12. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    MS pops up as normal in another feeble attempt to defend the honour of his dear comrades.

    Labour is the active service unit of the Worldwide CULT, known as Socialism.

    Got any cheap booze for sale there Mickey?

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  13. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,875 comments) says:

    GM, it’s the provisional wing of the trade unions, don’t you know?

    The IRA specialised in protection rackets, NZ Labour specialises in immigration rackets.

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  14. Inventory2 (10,264 comments) says:

    @ mickysavage (defending the indefensible)

    “The citizenship was granted nine months after officials advised the Immigration Minister at the time, David Cunliffe, that dual identities allegedly used by Liu were grounds to revoke his permanent residency.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10582518

    Cunliffe was advised by officials that there were grounds for Liu’s residence to be revoked. Cunliffe, of course, takes advice from no-one!

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  15. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    The failed, and discredited SOCIAL engineering programme that everyone can see has zero credibility.

    ZANULABOUR have fucked up good and proper. they still try and blame everyone else.

    “The workers united, will never be defeated”, try telling that to Mr A. Scargill, who now lives in the lap of luxury courtesy of his

    trusteeships of so many UK Mineworkers Pension funds. That escape pod was already ready and waiting.

    Margaret Thatcher turned the Country around, and when Labour took control in 1997. It did take perhaps 6-8 years to spend the Reserves.

    Anyway the bigger and better, much shinier escape pod is being readied. It’s called Climate Change Railways. All aboard!!

    It’s the biggest and best Gravy Train the World has ever seen, and not only financially. Huge power is attached. A One World

    Government is planned.

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  16. TCrwdb (246 comments) says:

    The left use immigration as a means to boost their vote, just as they do with welfare. It was the same with the Keating Labor govt in Australia (ref Paul Sheehan’s book ‘Among the Barbarians’)

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  17. JC (942 comments) says:

    Look at the political map of NZ. Labour is now compressed into small dense pockets in AK, Wgton, Chch and Dunedin.

    It needs migrants into these and adjoining pockets to survive and push back. Whats more, it needs a “hook” into such migrants to ensure loyalty. Both these objectives can be achieved by a system of favours and favouritism… greased with cash.

    As such migrants become established they realise that there’s a whiff of corruption attached to the process and that their continued presence requires loyalty.. just in case.

    Is the process corrupt.. yes. Does it benefit Labour.. yes. Does that mean Labour is corrupt.. maybe.. but its senior people have had many layers between whats happening and themselves, aided by our NZ habit of self delusion about there being little corruption.

    However, it does appear that in the past few years Labour has become a little closer to the sharp end of corrupt practices in immigration, but has shifted to the more genteel corruption of the middle classes with the likes of Working for Families and the latest support for paying the dole to unemployed partners of the middle class.

    JC

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  18. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    This Semisi Faka’osikimuli muthaf**ker (secretary of the Labour Party’s Tongan branch) had acted as an immigration consultant in the past to some of my relatives in their residency applications. My relative had informed me, they think he over-charged them by making endless appointments to see him about the progression of their applications (of course a huge fees is charged for even turning up for 10 minutes to find out any news from the Immigration about their applications). Now, I have discouraged the members of the Tongan community from using this guy’s services, because his dealings with his clients are unreliable & dodgy.

    I told him once at a Tongan community function in Auckland, to stop trying to being a big shot in the community, since numerous people have made complaints about his dealings and in fact , just stick to hitch-hiking along K’Rd at night time, because that’s what he is best at.

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  19. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Don’t remember National trying to have independent inquiries into Banking, or ‘advising’ on unemployment benefits.

    These F***ers actually think they have power? Dream on. Hopefully Key will get pissed off and investigate their Crimes.

    Heaven knows there are enough to sift through.

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  20. Ross Miller (1,686 comments) says:

    Keep digging mickeysavage … soon the hole will be so big as to accomodate the whole of the Labour Party.

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  21. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,875 comments) says:

    DPF, not just any old ‘branch chairman.’ This crook is the secretary of the Labour Party’s Tongan branch. Do you have any idea how many people that might encompass. It’s not like the Remuera branch of the National Party, you know. It has no physical boundaries. This guy is a senior key person in the Labour machine.

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  22. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    Adolf

    “This guy is a senior key person in the Labour machine. ”

    BS. Prove it.

    No matter what it is just as well Cunliffe introduced the certification process for immigration consultants.

    You guys should wait for the investigation to be concluded before rushing to judgment.

    Did you form the same immediate conclusion about National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi when allegations about him were made?

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  23. Camryn (553 comments) says:

    “After paying James about $14,000, all he said was to trust him and that is what I did. I thought with his involvement in the Labour Party, he will have good connections with Immigration.”

    I can understand Mr Han thinking this, because of the way China works. It’s horrific that Semisi Faka’osikimuli believes he can operate in the same way in New Zealand i.e. individuals in “the party” profiting from peddling influence within the system. This needs to be stomped on, hard.

    In the wider sense, MPs and their staff and party machinery do have a role in advocating for constituents with problems. This needs to be kept totally distinct from advocating for anyone whose problem is just that they want something. An injustice is a problem for a politician to take up. An application from government for some kind of permit or status is not. That’s just normal everyday activity, and going to politicians or party members cannot but imply a desire to subvert the process and the consequent involvement of money for favours.

    People may feel the need for support with applications, as I did for my US permanent residency, but they should only get that from lawyers and specialists. If you want to be an immigration advisor, don’t be a political figure.

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  24. burt (8,189 comments) says:

    mickysavage

    Just come out and say it: No matter what illegal activities a person is involved in as long as they wave a red flag and vote for your precious Labour party it is OK. Come on – tell it like it really is and stop this BS defense of the indefensible crap.

    You and your lot have no principles and it is a disgrace.

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  25. burt (8,189 comments) says:

    mickysavage

    You guys should wait for the investigation to be concluded before rushing to judgment.

    Yes indeed, if we were determined to subvert justice we might be tempted to make a statement like; He was only guilty of trying to help people.

    I can’t understand how you can be so partisan that you are prepared to defend this stuff based on what party people are affiliated with. Still you do and that is why I will never see eye to eye with you – I simply refuse to crawl in the gutter to join you defending people based on what political party they vote for. Good luck.

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  26. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    Burt

    All that I was suggesting is that no judgment should be formed until the investigation was completed.

    In any event he is not a serious Party operative.

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  27. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,875 comments) says:

    OFFS. Not a serious Party operative? Sitting at the right hand of Helen Clerk at a formal ceremonial occasion? Next thing you’ll be telling me yopur Party Secretary is simply a minor clerial functionary.

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  28. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    “There comes a point at which you wonder if certain problems are due to individuals, or are institutional. We have the current trial of Taito Philip Field. We have the unresolved issue of why Bill Liu was granted citizenship by Shane Jones despite official advice of his criminal record in China and offences in Australia. We have the Choudary immigration scam. There was also the dropping of list candidate Steven Ching over allegations of bribery. And now this case. Important to note only Choudary has been convicted of crimes”

    You ask if the problems are due to individuals or institutional? And we have the case of Labour stealing $800 000 from the public for a pledge card to break electoral finance laws, despite being warned three times in advance by the chief electoral officer that it was illegal. And then refusing to include it on their expenses return after promising they would. And then refusing to pay the money back until forced under public pressure. And then introducing retrospecive legislation supported by every single Labour MP to wipe out a relavant court case and legalise this overspending. And then, also supported by every single labour MP, the Electoral Finance Act. And the whole cosying up to Peters, supporting him on the privileges comittiee by all members, during the whole Owen Glenn donations scandal. Again, not one Labour MP stood up to Clark or peters on these issues.

    And it is not just the first term. Cosider the early election in 2002 JUST because parliament was suposedbly unworkable due to 12 minutes each day extra question time in points of order over the Alliance and status of Anderton. And also, most outrageous from a pure onstitutional legal viewpoint, the cancelled New Plymouth by-election, with Duynhoven remaining an MP illegally despite almost every credible legal opinion saying he should have lost his seat upon allying for Dutch citizenship (effectively a direct breach of the constiution).

    Of course it is not a few individuals. If it is, the few individuals consist of their entire caucus. It is deeply instiutional.

    one hates to imagine, what Labour would have resorted to had they won in 2008.

    And despite a few minor changes to the electoral finance act in their submission, they remain almost completely unrepentent.

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  29. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Some good points in this thread.

    I think Parliament should put a 10-year ban on Cabinet Members, or even on all MPs, from acting professionally in immigration after they leave Parliament.

    It began with Ozzie Malcolm, who started the whole immigration industry. Jenny Shipley became an immigration consultant, and more recently a former New Zealand First Minister.

    The whole Immigration division of the Labour Department has been an appalling wreck, with perhaps its worst performance being delegating to part-time Thai employees in Bangkok the vetting of refugees from the Middle East.

    [DPF: I don't think Shipley has ever been an immigration consultant. She has been investment not immigration AFAIK]

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  30. Bok (740 comments) says:

    I love this:
    “In any event he is not a serious Party operative.”

    Cue kettle drums (timpani’s for the musos)
    Male voice over ( deep slightly raspy)
    And as another secret operative slips into the night on his mission
    the controllers are well aware of the danger he faces.. nasty hurdles like truth… dignity… honesty might attack him on his mission
    to be helpful. To serve… to bring hope to the downtrodden…
    Yes this operative is on a mission.. a righteous mission
    To save and uplift..

    Save the Labour party from losing more votes and to uplift as many dollars from those in the islands looking to come to nuzeelin.

    Mickey Savage .. you are not, as much as you want to be, Che Guevara,
    You just sound wanky using phrases such as operatives. Get a life “comrade” the one you have honestly stinks.

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  31. Bok (740 comments) says:

    And on you telling me that I know nothing about your life, I’ll pre-empt you with this…
    A man with no legs will find running a marathon a challenge…
    A racecar driver that loses his sight will never race again… and a person who is too stupid to walk and chew gum at the same time…
    well their life just truly suck.

    They might be nice people…. but their life still suck.

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  32. RightNow (6,966 comments) says:

    Mickey I see you have had an epiphany between the Worth honeytrap and this scandal and are now advocating for the deferal of judgement until the investigation is complete. Welcome to the club.

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  33. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Special Rules for the Mickey Mob.

    CULTS have no concept of reality. Hopefully they will retreat to a compound. Replete with stolen Alcohol, and their new best friends from the Islands.

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  34. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    Bok

    “You just sound wanky using phrases such as operatives. Get a life “comrade” the one you have honestly stinks.”

    I agree the phrase stinks. I have been reading too many blogs obviously …

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  35. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    It’s all above board, right Mickey?

    Looking forward to watching that 22% gap widen.

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  36. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Ha ha ha LMFAO!

    MORE graft from the commies! When will it end?!

    How did that HBDHB fiasco get buried?

    Key fired Worth, why do Labour think its OK to condone graft?

    Oh, Mickey, it’s not up to anyone to prove that Labour are in fact dirty – with the compounded levels of deceit, graft and alledged criminality it is Labour who must now prove their innocence to the nation.

    No wonder Key has appointed Don to look at productivity independently of the State Services Commission, it seems that once august body is as tarnished with Labour instituitional graft mentality as Labour itself.

    Ka kite ano.

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