By Gaurav Sharma of RNZ
Hundreds of Indian nationals have been denied entry upon arrival since New Zealand opened its borders last year, Immigration NZ (INZ) statistics show.
Almost a third of the 664 foreign nationals denied entry on arrival between August 1 last year and June 10 are believed to hold Indian passports.
This includes both visa holders and passengers who were travelling visa waiver on a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, Immigration New Zealand told RNZ in a statement. Of these, 202 arrived on Indian passports.
INZ also noted 2727 passengers had been denied boarding while attempting to travel to New Zealand between those same dates, and 796 of these attempted to travel on Indian passports.
INZ general manager Richard Owen said possessing a visa does not guarantee entry into New Zealand.
Asked why so many Indian passport holders had been turned away at the border, Owen declined to speak in generalised terms.
“There are a number of reasons why a person may be denied entry to New Zealand,” he said. “However, the main reasons why people are refused entry include not being considered to be genuine temporary entrants and are likely to breach the conditions of their visa or fail to meet character requirements for entering New Zealand.
“The decision to refuse anyone entry to New Zealand, regardless of nationality, is not one that our border staff makes lightly. It is the result of an assessment by INZ that someone presenting at the border may not be a genuine short-stay visitor and affects a small proportion of visitor arrivals.”