‘Shocking’: Minister criticised for not getting legal advice on residency decision

Long Lunch 23/11/2018

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway did not get legal advice before making his decision to grant Karel Sroubek residency in New Zealand.

On Thursday, Mr Lees-Galloway confirmed that the residency decision took 45 minutes. He told Parliament that his secretary and one INZ staffer attended the meeting.

National's immigration spokesman Michael Woodhouse argues that the complicated residency application needed “a much deeper dive” than 45 minutes and additional experts.

“The more we find out about this case, the worse it gets for Mr Lees-Galloway,” Mr Woodhouse told RadioLIVE.

Sroubek came to New Zealand in 2003 on a false passport, and told officials that he had to flee his country after witnessing a murder. He was jailed in June 2016 for five years and nine months after a jury found him guilty of bringing Class-B MDMA powder into the country.

His residency application was reviewed and granted on September 19. 

Mr Woodhouse, who’s publicly condemned the decision since October, says the residency application contained elements that should’ve been reviewed by a lawyer.

“I would’ve thought the minister may have wanted some sort of expertise in the room,” said Mr Woodhouse.

Mr Lees-Galloway did not respond to questions on Thursday.

Listen to the full interview with Michael Woodhouse above.

The Long Lunch with Lynda Hallinan, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

RadioLIVE.