Convicted drink driver granted residency

By Tema Hemi

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway's decision to grant residency to a foreigner who's been convicted of drunk driving six times has been labelled another botch up by opponents.

Minister Lees-Galloway says there are mitigating factors that led to his decision.   

"Lees-Galloway says, "Deportation in this instance would of been a breach against the international convention against torture so deportation was not an option."

But National's spokesperson on Justice, Mark Mitchell says Minister Lees-Galloway can't be trusted. 

Mitchell says, "I'm very interested in seeing the information he's had that's allowed him to arrive at that decision. That's where the transparency is gonna kick in because New Zealand now doesn't trust the decisions he makes. He's got a poor track record of them."

Documents obtained under the Official Information Act show since Lees-Galloway took office in October 2017, two people with criminal convictions have been allowed to stay in New Zealand.

Lees-Galloway also says, "Section 151 of the Immigration Act precludes any of us from revealing the identity of a protected person. So we all need to take care with what we say. This is a case involving a protected person."

According to Immigration New Zealand, a protected person is a person for whom there are "substantial grounds for believing she or he would be in danger of torture, arbitrary deprivation of life or cruel treatment if deported from New Zealand".