A Brazilian woman who claimed she wanted to see the Lord of the Rings film sites - but thought Harry Potter was the films' main character - was one of thousands of travellers refused entry into New Zealand in the past year, a new report has revealed.

In the 2016 financial year, 5.9 million travellers arrived in New Zealand - a 9 per cent increase on the previous year.

In that time, 2930 people were prevented from boarding a flight to New Zealand, and 1371 were refused entry on arrival.

Malaysia was the top place passengers refused entry were from, followed by Hong Kong and Brazil.

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Travellers were commonly stopped from flying to New Zealand as they didn't have a visa, didn't have a valid travel document or hadn't met entry requirements.

Being the subject of an alert stopped 424 travellers, and 151 were deemed to have non-genuine visiting intentions. Another 70 were stopped for false passport or ID concerns.

In most cases, people flying to New Zealand have to have a return ticket.

But Immigration New Zealand will pay the return cost for passengers from visa-required countries when necessary. The passengers have to pay back any debt and are not granted a visa to travel back to New Zealand until it is paid.

Another case revealed in the Year at the Border report released by Immigration New Zealand today, was a Mexican man who claimed he wanted to see kangaroos and boomerangs to get away from "security concerns" with the legislation of cannabis in his home country.

Another stopped was a South African passport holder who had a dating profile claiming he was a New Zealand man seeking a "nice girl to have serious relationship". A Russian man with no explanation for having two passports, 64 credit cards, 100 sim cards and six mobile phones was also stopped.

Border control also stopped a man coming from Canada who had been found guilty in
England of conspiracy to defraud in a case related to fake US Government bonds to the tune of $2.5 trillion.

Immigration New Zealand border manager Senta Jehle said the report illustrated the work done to protect New Zealand borders from people who posed a risk.

"Screening for and managing risk at the earliest point of a passenger's journey remains a real priority for us," she said.

"To this end we have increased the number of frontline staff and strengthened our security and ICT systems.

"The increasing passenger volumes and international environment will continue to challenge us all to be increasingly innovative and connected to ensure the most effective border processes possible into the future."