Harawira wants amnesty for over stayers

By Maiki Sherman

Our relations from the Pacific Islands must be protected. That from the Mana Party who want full amnesty for overstayers in New Zealand.

The aim is to lift their fear of instant arrest and allow them to apply for legal residency.

As Hone Harawira evaluates overseas oil companies moving in, Mana is calling for an open-armed approach to over stayers from the Pacific.    

Harawira says, “It's not as though they should all stay, but the weight should be lifted so they aren't under pressure and they can send their children to school and work here in New Zealand.”

Mana says it's an issue they'll take to the negotiating table, suggesting that Labour may come on board. However, David Cunliffe says otherwise. 

“Mana are getting ahead of themselves, it’s easy for minor partys to promise the world, major partys make rules.”

David Cunliffe pulled no punches as he emphasised who would ultimately hold the reins of power, something which Hone Harawira says has kept Labour's Pacific MPs in line.  

Harawira claims, “Labour says this is the line and so Su'a has held that, but I know he's feeling for his relations who are forced to hide.”

According to figures from the Immigration Minister's office, last year there were just over 13,000 over stayers in New Zealand. Half of those were from the Pacific Islands. The Minister. Michael Woodhouse  says if Mana's policy goes ahead, that figure will rise.

“When people are aware that an amnesty could occur they become illegal and they stay in teh country until an amnesty is announced so it actually has the opposite effect.”

Only time will tell if Mana's policy will gain legs or if it'll be those over stayers who'll be doing the walking.