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New Zealand is exporting not only its youth and skills to Australia, it is also helping to fill the nation's jails.

This country is a whisker behind Vietnam as the largest foreign source of prison inmates, and ahead of the United Kingdom and Ireland, Bureau of Statistics figures show.

The 771 Kiwis in jails around the Lucky Country account for 3 per cent of the 29,000 inmates at the end of June last year.

The expatriate New Zealand community also has the sixth-highest rate of overseas-born prisoners, with 162 inmates for every 100,000 adult Kiwis living in the country.

But this is below the rate of Australian-born inmates and is dwarfed by the 1868 per 100,000 rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners - 14 times higher than the non-indigenous prison population. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners comprised more than quarter of the total.

Nigerians recorded the highest rate for foreign-born prisoners (1079 per 100,000), followed by Indonesians (653). The Kiwi rate also falls below those of Samoa and Sudan.

Most of the Kiwis have been jailed for serious offences - 68 for murder and related crimes, 166 for acts intended to cause injury, 94 for sexual assault and related offences, and 154 for robbery, extortion and related crimes.

A further 154 were in prison for unlawful entry with intent, 66 for drug offences, and 154 for other crimes.

Most Kiwi prisoners are in jails in New South Wales, where 304 are behind bars.

More than 220 are in Queensland, 112 in Western Australia and 93 in Victoria.

ROGUES GALLERY
* Hector Hapeta, Brisbane prostitution kingpin jailed for 14 years for corruption and heroin trafficking in 1989, released in 1995 but arrested on new trafficking charges three years later. Hapeta died awaiting trial in 1998.

* Lindsay Hoani Beckett, jailed for life with a non-parole period of 35 years for abducting, raping and killing Lauren Barry, 14, and Nichole Collins, 16, in the southern New South Wales coastal town of Bega in 1997, in company with associate Leslie Camilleri.

* Glen McNeil, jailed for a minimum of 18 years for the murder of Janelle Patton on Norfolk Island in 2002.

* Joel Morehu-Barlow, at present remanded in custody until January 16, charged with defrauding Queensland Health of A$11 million ($13.7 million).