Bakshi under Police investigation

The NZ Herald reports that National List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is under investigation in relations to a job offer or offers he made to prospective immigrants before he was an MP.

It is excellent to see the referred the allegations onto the Police, and I await their findings with interest. There should be no sweeping under the carpet.

I have no first hand knowledge of the situation, so await the outcome of the investigation, or more information. I will point out that when these allegations first occurred, I said on 14 November 2008:

There are also the allegations against new National List MP, Kanwaljit Bakshi, that he offered jobs that did not exist to help immigrants enter. The allegations may well be baseless, but if John Key wants to set a different style to Helen Clark, he would do well to make sure there is an inquiry into them – even if just to ascertain the total number of job offers made by his new MP to potential immigrants.

And on the 15th of May 2009, I repeated my call for an inquiry, in response to  report that an Immigration Service staffer thought a witness had been paid off. I said it was “not a good look”.

Personally I have never had much trust in departmental inquiries, and would have preferred a fully independent inquiry with powers to compel testimony. But to be fair to the Immigration Service they appear to have been quite thorough in their investigation, considering they learnt enough to refer issues to the Police.

There will obviously be some speculation about whether Bakshi will remain an MP. Being investigated by the Police is never good for your political career. Again until evidence is known, I would not jump to any conclusions, but for those interested the next person on National’s list is Dr Conway Powell from Dunedin who is in position 59. Stephen Franks is next after that on no 60.

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