One of the 12 Indian students who have been served deportation orders because of fraudulent bank statements has been detained pending deportation.
Rev Clay Nelson of Auckland's Unitarian Church, which has given sanctuary to the students since February 6, said the male student was detained at his home in Blockhouse Bay this morning.
"I don't know why he was there," Nelson said.
Nine students are still at the church in Ponsonby Rd.
A 22-year-old man who flatted with the man who was detained at Blockhouse Bay said "more than eight" Immigration NZ officers arrived at the address at 8.15am today.
"They asked all of us to come in a big hall with our passports, and they picked him out," he said.
Police were not involved and the man subject to the deportation order went with the officers peacefully.
Lawyer Alastair McClymont, who is representing most of the students, said Immigration NZ had told him they also plan to detain two students in Christchurch today.
"Today seems to be the day that they are going to do it all," he said.
He plans to be at the Unitarian Church shortly in case police arrive.
"If they are brave enough to go into the church and pull them out in front of the TV cameras - let's see," he said.
McClymont said Associate Immigration Minister David Bennett told Green MP Denise Roche yesterday that he had decided not to intervene, clearing the way for today's action.
He said the student caught at Blockhouse Bay was now at the Auckland Central police station and Immigration NZ would be aiming to put him on a plane to India within three days.
McClymont said the students were being "completely ripped off".
"Clearly the Minister of Immigration has ignored all the pleas," he said.
"The associate minister has done nothing.
"We know that Immigration NZ has taken no action against the agents who have taken all the money.
"They have taken no action against the schools who have taken all this money.
"They don't seem to have taken any action against the Immigration officers who allowed these people to come here without interviews."
He said some of the education agents who submitted fraudulent bank details for the students continued to operate.
"Some of the agents who created fraudulent documents are NZ citizens and we know the Government has taken no action against them whatsoever, because this is all about the money."
McClymont said Immigration NZ had told him the student detained this morning would be put on a plane to India on Friday.
"They are not going to have a humanitarian interview with him. They say he has had all his chances," he said.
McClymont said immigration officers were waiting for instructions from Wellington before deciding whether to detain the students at the church.
Student Sunil Chinta, 27, asked why the schools the students attended in Auckland had no New Zealand students.
"They say it's our fifth largest industry but we are human beings, not exporting things from India," he said.
"They are trying to get cheap labour from India."
Chinta said he came here to do a level 7 business course for one year, then planned to work for a New Zealand business for a year to get "international experience" before returning to India.
"That was our main purpose, not to settle in New Zealand," he said.
Computer studies student Hossein, also 27, said he hoped the "international exposure" would help his career when he returned to India.
He said he stayed to fight the deportation order because he had done nothing wrong.
"We are not the fraudsters like the agents," he said. "We know that we are the victims."
Nine students are still at the Unitarian Church. One has been detained and the other two are in Christchurch.