A new standard of accountability?

Helen Clark got elected promising a new standard of accountability. Now for those who missed the TV One news, let’s see how this issue meets these new standards?

1) A Thai over-stayer contacts Minister Taito Philip Field for help when his wife and child were deported

2) At the meeting Field learns the over-stayer is an tiler, and asks him if he can go out and tile his house in Samoa

3) He paid the tiler somewhere between $60 and $100 a week, well below minimum pay rates in NZ. I look forward to the CTU condemning this sweatshop operation!

4) He then made a personal representation to Immigration Minister Paul Swain [actually Associate Damien O’Connor] to grant work permits for the over-stayer and his wife.

5) The Minister granted the request, noting “It is not my normal practice to intervene in the established immigration application process, however I have decided to make an exception in this case”.

So Taito Field got his house in Samoa tiled cheaply, and the over-stayer got a personal request to the Minister who intervened in the established process to make an exception for them.

If Taito Field is still a Minister by the end of Tuesday, it will say a lot about Helen’s new standards of accountability.

People may like to recall that Jenny Shipley in 1999 also discovered ethical breaches by a Minister in relation to immigration issues. Despite being a couple of days before the election, she sacked him.

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