COMMENT: To cap off a dreadful week in the polls for Labour, Iain Lees-Galloway added to it by reminding us what a hopeless, soft touch he is.
This "protected person" who has been given residency - despite six drink-driving convictions - is another product of a minister who was shown up shockingly in the Karel Sroubek case.
And here's the irony, he shouldn't actually have been in the job to make the "protected person" call. If Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had any backbone, and any ability to read the public's mood on Sroubek, Lees-Galloway would have been sacked.
And potentially someone semi-competent might have been put in and the bloke concerned would have stayed on their temporary visa.
The minister's explanation that he only gave him residency because of cumbersome paperwork further insults us. It treats us like idiots.
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And it once again reveals Labour's real love of the United Nations, its charters, and its world view. The fact we have a tribunal that declares protected status to people we may well not want here, and in doing so makes the minister impotent, should be of concern to us all. And we only have this arrangement because of the treaty we signed in 1986 (you will note by another Labour government).
Not that the treaty on torture might not be widely supported, but if in signing it, we sign away a minister's and government's ability to make its own decisions, we have signed away sovereignty.
The Government tried to pin this on National given the case started in 2013. But critically what National did was keep the man on a working visa that needed reviewing.
Why? Because they might eventually be able to boot him out of the country. And giving residency is actually an honour. It's a privilege, it comes with rewards. Rewards a bloke, who numerous times has troubled the justice system, doesn't deserve.
You get to vote, you get to be on a jury, and critically you have a better path way to citizenship.
Why does Lee-Galloway think that's something to be handed out to people he must know the rest of us would be highly dubious of? How is the country enhanced? How is our reputation enhanced?
And what's almost as bad as having a tribunal with an extraordinarily dangerous amount of power is we know nothing of the details. We have to trust these people, and a not unreasonable question surely is, why should we?
If Sroubek and this case have taught us anything, it's that a lot goes on behind our gaze. The people making the calls, like Lees-Galloway has very specifically shown, are not up to much.
And they're making calls that not only we wouldn't necessarily like or agree with, but calls that might well in the long run endanger us - or cause us needless distress and hassle through the judicial process. And that behaviour is not just kept secret but rewarded.
Ian Lees-Galloway didn't put New Zealand and its people first in the Sroubek case, and he hasn't done it this time either. Why is he still in the job?