I’ve laid off Minister Kate Wilkinson recently. I’ve even said nice things about her, because the less she gets done on her government’s employment law changes, the better.
But the flip flop around the Mike Tyson visa can’t go unmentioned. The issue has been in the media for weeks. Immigration NZ had made it clear that he would need an special direction from the Minister to be able to apply for a visa.
The Minister duly granted Mike Tyson an exemption, despite his conviction for rape and other violent incidents because he supposedly had the support of the Life Education Trust. Turns out that she didn’t check the validity of that support, which had come from a volunteer, not the agency’s board.
What’s even worse, the Prime Minister and the Minister didn’t talk to each other about it, so were contradicting each other in public.
It didn’t take long for a member of the public to check out whether the Life Education Trust was really supporting Mike Tyson’s application and find they weren’t. Why the Minister couldn’t do that, I have no idea.
This is shoddy politicial management. It demonstrates a government that has taken its eye off the ball and the fiascos just keep rolling on.