Government dumps Sroubek documents on Friday before Christmas

Just past 4pm on the Friday before Christmas, the Government dumped New Zealand media outlets with documents relating to the controversial case of convicted drug smuggler Karel Sroubek.

Within the documents, which were originally set to be released at 1pm on Friday - two days after Parliament rose for the last time this year - was the fact in 2012 Immigration NZ knew Sroubek travelled to the Czech Republic.

This information had not been provided to Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway when he made his controversial decision to grant residency to Sroubek.

Mr Lees-Galloway took less than an hour to make his original decision, and without reading the entire file provided to him by Immigration NZ.

After immense public pressure, Mr Lees-Galloway pulled a U-turn, making the convicted drug smuggler liable for deportation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had previously suggested Sroubek had gained residency in New Zealand as his life was at risk in the Czech Republic.

National's justice spokesperson, Mark Mitchell, continued to slam Mr Lees-Galloway on Friday, telling Newshub the minister was "being protected" and "absolutely should have resigned".

"This is the worst decision that has ever been made, that we have ever seen as a country".

The cynical decision to release the information on Friday afternoon - something it has repeatedly done beforehand - flies in the face of the Government's promise to be open and transparent.

Earlier on Friday, Ms Ardern told RadioLive the lowlight of her year was "politics".

"When you do this job, there's the thing you get elected to do, the big challenges - then there's things that kind of happen around the periphery. It's part of the job, but they can be a bit of a distraction".


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