Delamere Outraged at Slurs on Pacific Islanders

  • John Delamare
Pacific Island Affairs

Pacific Islands Affairs Minister, Hon Tuariki Delamere, said today it was outrageous to imply that the recent outbreak of tuberculosis in Auckland was the result of migration from the Pacific Islands.

"My Ministry advises me that last year, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, a senior lecturer at the Auckland School of Medicine, produced a paper on TB in the Pacific which described any suggestion that TB is coming from the islands as "total and absolute rubbish".

"I am advised the incidence of TB in Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Niue is negligible. The disease is still found in Kiribati and Tuvalu, but immigration from those islands to New Zealand is very limited.

"As Minister of Immigration, I urge those who want TB screening of everyone who enters New Zealand to think more carefully. Do they really want New Zealanders who have been to high risk areas to be tested on their return? If one person is found to be infected, do we then test all the other passengers on the aircraft?" said the Minister.