Auditor General Lyn Provost is to carry out an inquiry into the decision by the former Associate Minister of Immigration, Shane Jones, to grant citizenship to Yong Ming Yan (also known as Yang (Bill) Liu).
It will be led by Francis Cooke QC.
The link above will take you to an explanation of the background of the case and the scope of the inquiry which will examine:
- the policies and practices of the Department of Internal Affairs when advising the Minister on applications for citizenship, in particular where the applicant’s ‘good character’ is in question;
- how and why the Minister decided to grant citizenship to Mr Yan; and
- any other matters the Auditor-General considers it desirable to report on.
Looking at not just how the decision was made but why is important.
When Labour leader David Shearer requested the AG look at the case he referred to the process but that is far too narrow for an issue of this seriousness.
New Zealand has a very good reputation for lack of corruption in high places. The AG has a very important role in safeguarding that reputation and any inquiry she undertakes must range as widely as it needs to be in order to get to the bottom of what happened, how and why.
That is not in any way pre-judging the outcome. A full and comprehensive inquiry is just as important if it clears the then-Associate Minister’s name as if it doesn’t.
Hat tip: Keeping Stock