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Acting Prime Minister defends Iain Lees-Galloway’s one-hour decision on Karel Sroubek

Acting Prime Minister Kelvin Davis has defended the Immigration Minister's one hour decision to allow Czech drug smuggler Karel Sroubek to remain in New Zealand.

On TVNZ 1's Breakfast, Jack Tame asked Mr Davis what was the most important decision he had made as a Minister and if he had read all his briefing notes in that decision.

Mr Davis said it was the Waikeria Prison decision, and said "heck yeah", in regards to reading briefing notes.  

"We get mountains and mountains of information for one decision," Mr Davis said. 

"So why is it acceptable for Iain Lees-Galloway, your Minister, to make what he described as the 'hardest decision of his career', without reading all of the briefing notes?" Tame asked. 

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway admitted he took only an hour to decide to let Mr Sroubek stay in New Zealand, and did not read the entire case file.

"There's mountains and mountains of information to make one decision, he took an hour," Mr Davis said. "I'm surprised he had a whole hour in his day because our days are blocked up in quarter hour, half hour chunks."

Tame asked how was it acceptable to not read the entirety of the briefing notes. 

"Iain Lees-Galloway is a fantastic Minister, that wouldn't have been his only decision that week," Mr Davis said. 

"We have to make decisions on a daily basis, he would have had a mountain of information, he would have read as much as he could before he made the decision. If he had taken five days to read all that information people would be saying he's not productive enough.

"That's the nature of being a Minister, we have mountains of information we have to absorb and make decisions. I think he's done a good job, he's looking at more information that's come to light, there's more to come."

Jack Tame questioned why the Immigration Minister made the hardest decision of his career, without reading all the notes. Source: Breakfast