Thousands turned away at NZ border
Thousands of visitors are apparently being turned back at Auckland Airport for attempting to mislead immigration officials. Despite new rules causing the numbers to drop dramatically, figures from the Department of Labour show an average of 1,000 people a year are bounced back from the New Zealand hub.
Of the 4,597 turned back since 2006, 3,000 were found to have "non-genuine reasons" for coming to the country. In an article by Auckland Now, immigration officer Steve Stuart explained that most of the time officials are not satisfied because they do not believe the person has come to New Zealand for the purpose stated. He added that working on a tourist visa is a clear breach of the rules.
Just fewer than 300 people were denied access because Customs staff detected drugs or the recent use of illegal substances, or because of a criminal history and a likelihood of committing crime in the country. According to Mr Stuart, some passengers are even found with items such as credit card skimmers in their luggage.
The largest amount of international passengers was expelled from Aukland Airport, as it processes 7.4 million every year. Only 460 were turned away from hubs in Queenstown, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin over the same five-year period.
Since 2006, however, the amount of those turned away when arriving in New Zealand has halved. This year, only 601 were expelled, compared with 1,232 in the year the study began.
The reduction is due to improvements in flight screening, which allows officials to decide whether passengers can enter New Zealand before they have even boarded the plane. Identification of those subject to immigration alerts or travelling under lost or stolen passport are other offshore border measures.
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