Off with his head

I think that the punishment for any busy-body civil servant who does anything remotely stupid and gets noticed should imeddiately be fired. Let’s call this the Guillotine Principle.

And so we come to the case of Immigration Advisers Authority Registrar Barry Smedts.

A blogger who came to New Zealand from Britain has been warned to stop giving immigration advice on her blog – or face prosecution under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act.

The Immigration Advisers Authority says Helen Winterbottom was breaking the law by posting on avalonsguide.com, and has told her she must get a licence if she wants to continue.

Registrar Barry Smedts said the authority had issued 18 warning letters since the law came into effect on May 4, but he believed Ms Winterbottom was the only blogger to have been warned.

But the former pharmacist said she was only “speaking her mind” on her blog, which she started last November, and did not have any intention of becoming an immigration adviser.

Ms Winterbottom said she did not have the written warning, but had been told by the authority that one of her blog entries broke the law.

Guilty of crass stupidity, continuing that crass stupidity in the face of bloggers and media attention and being a general fool. Immigration Advisers Authority Registrar Barry Smedts you are a git and should be fired. You won’t of course, you will probably have a group hug, some counselling and go on a media management course followed by more counselling and a karakia and powhiri to welcome you back within the office.

Helen Winterbottom meanwhile has the Blogger’s Union full support.

Meanwhile on the subject of immigration might I suggest that if you require a visa then fill out the correct forms, submit them to immigration and wait in the queue with the myriad of others. Tiling Philip Field’s floors no longer works, but I hear the Mangere Office of? Su’a William Sio is a good place to go to hand over money for visas. Or you could pay $500 to Gerard Otini and get a silly stamp in your passport. (Do you think that will get me in trouble? I hope so, then I can tell Barry Smedts where he can shove his official warning in person)

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