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Ardern’s mixed messaging over Sroubek


The Prime Minister seems to be sending mixed messages about Karel Sroubek, Iain Lees-Galloway and Immigration officials.

This article from RNZ, says she has no confidence in the decision made Sroubek’s residency, but she still has confidence in Lees–Galloway, but will not say the same about the officials.

That article referenced her interview on Newshub Nation over the weekend. In that interview the PM said:-

“Ultimately the response from the public will be given that we’ve provided additional information, how do we act on that? How do we fix, if indeed an error has occurred, how do we fix that? That’s rightly what we should be judged on.

Then she moved into deflection mode.

There have been cases like this in the past – I’ve had raised with me cases involving sex offences under the last Government, 100 of these kinds of cases.”

So Lees-Galloway is OK, because apparently similar decisions were mde by National. So why is Lees-Galloway getting the benefit of the doubt, but National is not. Maybe there were reasons why those decisions were made, such as those which informed the Stroubek decision. Were National’s ministers given the right information?

Perhaps there should be a wider ranging inquiry into the Immigration Department, it’s culture, staffing and policies and processes.

Then this morning on RNZ’s Morning Report she said in an interview with Kim Hill

Jacinda Ardern told Morning Report she wants to get the case right, before asking questions about what went wrong

“Here I am not placing blame, because there seems to be a range of issues here at play with this case and until we have all the evidence in front of us I do not want this to turn into a witch-hunt, that’s not what it should be.”

Ms Ardern said ministers could only make decisions based on the information that was in front of them.

“I don’t that think anyone would assumes that a minister will for instance receive a significant file and on the back of that go and ask questions – yes they ask questions, yes they scrutinise things, but it’s always based on what’s there in front of them.”

If she really means that Ministers should not function other than on the information put before them we should be very worried. That comment seems as well to be at variance with statements both by her and other Ministers made in the past.

The worrying thing is the willingness of this to always place the blame on someone else. Even more than prior administrations there is a reluctance to accept accountability when something happens. The default position is National’s to blame,or officials or office staff. That frankly is not acceptable.

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