NEW ZEALAND TAKES ACTION AGAINST MAORIS OVER BOGUS CITIZENSHIPS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (January 21, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The New Zealand Government is taking action against a legal firm for failing to represent a man who claimed immunity from deportation, because he bought a worthless Maori citizenship certificate.

The man from Kiribati, Trubea Rubin, was deported on Tuesday after the High Court rejected his appeal to remain in New Zealand.

He had paid about one thousand dollars for the false certificate from a confederation of Maori Chiefs, which the government said failed to represent him at his court hearing.

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel, said she's powerless to act against the confederation because no one will admit to buying the worthless citizenship certificates.

"No we're not taking any action against the confederation of chiefs because we don't have any evidence to refer to the police

" The police are the right people to give the evidence to because they are in charge of protecting people against fraud in this country.

"It is a fraud to offer something that has no status. And that's what these people have been doing," Ms. Dalziel said.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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