The Government tripled a Budget bid to $33.5m to stop boat people reaching New Zealand despite Treasury warning there was no evidence that the risk of mass arrivals had increased.

The funding boost followed a "strong steer" from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, revealed in a tranche of documents released to the Herald under the Official Information Act.

The immigration division of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) had originally asked for $11.3m over four years for "maritime mass arrival prevention", but the bid was boosted in February to $33.5m following feedback from Ministers.

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