Kate Wilkinson - Asshole of the Week Award | The Jackal

12 Aug 2011

Kate Wilkinson - Asshole of the Week Award

Yesterday Kate Wilkinson failed to answer a question as Minister of Labour, which also related to her roll as Associate Minister of Immigration, because the question was directed to her as Minister of Labour.

Wilkinson declined to answer the question concerning relevant and required information to do with her portfolios because of a technicality. What a complete mind fuck!

The question related to the abuse of workers at sea which has become prevalent and unchecked under a National led government. After many delays, public and political pressure finally made National launch a Ministerial Inquiry into the alleged abuse.

However Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson then decided to deport the crew of the Oyang 75, who were witnesses to the alleged abuse and required for a proper inquiry process. They abandoned their ship after continued physical and sexual abuse, saying they were being treated worse than slaves. They have not been paid for their work.

To compound that abuse of power, Immigration then decided to not waive the $550 fee required so that the 32 seamen could appeal the deportation order, further ensuring they would not be available to take part in the Ministerial Inquiry. These people are witnesses and victims and required to give evidence if any proper inquiry process is to eventuate.

It’s a clear conflict of interest in that Wilkinson is trying to ensure the seamen are not available to give witness to the alleged abuse, because she wants the focus to go off National’s failure and complicity in that abuse of workers rights.

In my opinion, the subsequent abuse of power to try and deport witnesses and therefore limit the inquiries scope reflects very badly on the National party. It's corruption plain and simple, and is not acceptable.

Being that worker abuse at sea is nothing new in New Zealand’s waters and that the National party knew about this and did nothing for a very long time, makes Wilkinson's callous attempt to subvert the course of justice all the more disgusting!

Wilkinson has another reason to resign, her behaviour brings shame on the government and lowers public opinion of what should be an institution held in high regard. She's therefore this weeks Asshole Award winner.