Friday, June 18, 2004

What the hell is going on?

A senior Tongan official doesn't attend a conference here after being asked to take a pregnancy test. Imigration's response? "It's her own fault and she should have realised she didn't need a visa anyway". Now there's a second official making the same claims:

Mrs Mafi, the first woman governor of a Pacific Island central bank, said she was also asked to take a pregnancy test and to present herself for an interview at the Immigration Service's Nuku'alofa office. She was surprised and "humiliated".

"I have had two children already and I didn't have them in New Zealand. I thought that being the governor of the Reserve Bank also, that there was some mutual trust and respect between ourselves."

She had sought an 18-month multiple-entry visa similar to those she had held in the past but was granted only a one-month visa.

What the hell is going on here? Why are we humiliating our friends? And will Immigration blame the victim again?

We simply should not be doing this. It's grossly invasive and humiliating, an insult to the dignity of any person. If we're worried about a handful of foreign mothers giving birth in New Zealand hospitals, then by all means bill them. But this sort of pre-emptive testing is simply vile.