Thousands denied entry to NZ in 2012

File photo / Doug Sherring
File photo / Doug Sherring

More than two thousand visitors were turned away from entering New Zealand last year, latest immigration figures show.

A total of 1529 people were denied permission to board flights to New Zealand, after pre-arrival screening checks found they wouldn't meet entry requirements.

A further 2462 people were referred from Customs to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) for assessment on arrival, which saw 790 of them refused entry and sent home.

The oldest person denied entry to New Zealand was 79, according to INZ's annual report, 'Year at the Border'.

INZ's Manager, Border Operations, Karen Urwin, says the report illustrates the skills and experience of staff in helping genuine travellers enter the country, while protecting New Zealand's borders from people who pose a risk.

"Working with other government agencies and using sophisticated electronic profiling and advanced risk targeting techniques, during the 2011/12 year INZ was successful in disrupting crime - this included refusing entry to individuals involved in organised crime, as well as refusing entry to people planning to undertake financial crimes while in the country," she said.

The INZ Border Operations team makes around 500,000 immigration related decisions each year - more than 1300 decisions a day.

During the 2011/12 year, 4.8 million passengers arrived in New Zealand, including 2.6 million short-term visitors who contributed around $9.6 billion to New Zealand's GDP.

More Australians came here during the year (833,000) than anyone else, followed by the UK (336,000), China (231,000), USA (200,000) and France (77,000).

Only one person from each of the following countries visited New Zealand in the last year - Angola, Faeroe Islands (near Iceland), British Indian Ocean Territory (south of the Maldives), Comoros (off Mozambique), Chad and Suriname.

The report also highlights the new airline infringements regime, which has now been rolled out to all 19 international airlines flying into New Zealand.

Improvement in airline compliance with requirements was positive, INZ said, reducing from 342 infringements for December 2011 down to 111 in July.

"The majority of airline infringements relate to passenger information requirements not being met or airline staff not checking outward ticket requirements," Ms Urwin said, adding that it resulted in a number of prosecutions.

Our most numerous visitors in 2012

833,000 Australians
336,000 Britons
231,000 Chinese
200,000 Americans
77,000 French


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