An airline has been slapped with a fine after allowing a passenger to fly to New Zealand without approval from Immigration New Zealand.

Cathay Pacific was convicted at Manukau District Court yesterday and fined $6500 for failing to comply with the Immigration Act 2009 airline obligations.

The airline failed to provide Immigration New Zealand with any information on a Bahraini passenger before allowing him to travel to Auckland from the Qatar capital, Doha, via Hong Kong in July last year.

The court heard that if Cathay Pacific had provided Immigration with the passenger's details it would have come up with a red flag.


A pre-existing alert was recorded against the Bahraini passenger after he was denied boarding on a previous flight from Bangkok in June last year.

The passenger has since left New Zealand.

It is the second time the airline has been prosecuted for not meeting the Immigration Act requirements, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) assistant general manager Peter Devoy said.

"INZ takes this type of offending very seriously as airlines have a crucial role to play in maintaining the integrity of New Zealand's immigration system and keeping the border secure," he said.

Immigration New Zealand issues approval for an airline to bring a passenger to New Zealand.

The maximum sentence for failing to comply with the obligation is an imprisonment term of up to three months, a fine of up to $50,000, or both.