Delays in release of Sroubek information

Well, wadda ya know…


Stuff reports: quote.

the Government looks set to delay the release of controversial Karel Sroubek information until a few days before Christmas.

The Opposition has hit out saying it was a “disgrace” and accused Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway of trying to cover up a bad decision by releasing information right before Christmas, when most New Zealanders are more interested in their holiday plans.

Stuff?has made numerous Official Information Act (OIA) requests asking for the documents Lees-Galloway used to base his decision to grant the drug-smuggler residency and the reports that subsequently changed his mind. end quote.

My, my. Stuff is actually trying to do its job, for once. Now, there’s a surprise. quote.

The first of these was due last week.

Lees-Galloway’s office notified?Stuff?that it was extending the time available to answer the request and expected to respond by December 21, 2018, at the latest. end quote.

The busiest travel day of the year… quote.

“The reason for the extension is that the request is for a large quantity of official information and meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the department or the Minister of the Crown and consultations necessary to make a decision on the request are such that a proper response to the request cannot reasonably be made within the original time limit.” end quote.

Running out of black felt pens there, Iain? quote.

National leader Simon Bridges said it was an “incredibly cynical” move from the Government.

“It’s clear that Lees-Galloway is trying to cover up his bad decision making by releasing information right before Christmas when everyone is heading away on holiday. All of the information is readily available to the minister and his department, so there is no good reason for the delay. There is a high level on public interest in this case and trying to cover it up is disrespectful to all New Zealanders and not at all open and honest like this Government promised to be.” end quote.

Dead right… but this is hardly anything new. Isn’t this the ?open and transparent? government that delivers all its press releases at 4.45 on a Friday? quote.

National’s immigration spokesman Michael Woodhouse said the party had also made similar OIA requests, with the response also pushed to later this week, past the requirement of 20 working days.

“If it was technically difficult to prepare or required a search that warrants the extra time, that would be understandable but the documentation is at hand and does not require any dive into the archives.”

Delaying the release of the documents?was the customary way to put bad news out, he said. end quote.

Dead right… and you can bet your bottom dollar that the information to be released is not going to make this government look good. If they could, they would hold it off until December 25th . Or maybe 2027.quote.

National’s justice spokesman Mark Mitchell said the Government had plenty of time to prepare answers to OIA requests.

“When you consider the public interest in this case, I think it’s a disgrace the Government is trying to delay with what appears to be a pretty obvious tactic, while everyone is away, in the hope the country will forget about it.” end quote.

In the social media age, there is much less chance of things being forgotten. This type of behaviour might have worked once, but it doesn’t work in quite the same way any more. quote.

He did not believe the “excuse” was reasonable.

Meanwhile, he and Woodhouse had been granted their?request?for a briefing with the minister but there were still many unanswered questions about the case, he said. end quote.

It will do no good. The problem is that Labour is all out of Sharpies. They will have to wait until a new box comes in from Warehouse Stationery.