Hundreds stopped from entering New Zealand
More than 40 people with plane tickets bound for New Zealand are refused entry by Immigration each week.
Fifteen people on average a week arrive never to make it past the airport, while 26 a week do not even get on their flights.
Nearly five million people arrived in New Zealand in the year to June 30. Of those, 790 were refused entry.
Immigration New Zealand's (INZ) advance passenger processing (APP) system also stopped 1342 people from boarding flights to this country.
When passengers check in overseas, APP validates their entitlement to travel to or through New Zealand. They are screened against INZ's database and the airline receives a directive stating if they are OK to board.
“Reasons someone could be denied boarding include an alert being recorded against their name or passport number; the passenger requires a visa to travel to New Zealand but does not hold one; or the passport presented is recorded as being lost or stolen,” INZ intelligence general manager Peter Elms said.
Malaysia Airlines was fined $5500 in Manukau District Court yesterday after a passenger was flagged in the APP system but a check-in attendant altered the passport number so the person could still board the plane.
The person was stopped from entering the country on arrival.
Malaysian nationals make up the highest number of those refused entry - 110 during the 2011/12 financial year.
An INZ official said she suspected this was to do with Malaysia's proximity to New Zealand.
However, a Malaysian expatriate said he thought many who were refused were genuine visitors even though INZ determined they were not.
Fifty-six South Koreans, 43 South Africans, 38 Hong Kong passport holders, 37 Brazilians and 36 Romanians were refused entry at New Zealand airports.
More than half of those refused entry were considered not to be genuine visitors, Mr Elms said. They were mostly from visa-free countries and likely to work unlawfully or overstay any visa granted.
People who arrive at New Zealand borders are profiled for immigration risk and sometimes interviewed by Immigration officials.
BY THE NUMBERS
790 people refused entry to New Zealand between July 1, 2011, and June 30.
1342 stopped from boarding their flights to New Zealand during the same period.
550 people deported this year, including 80 Samoans, 64 Indians, 56 Chinese, 51 Indian and 46 Tongan nationals.
1393 people left voluntarily during the 2011/12 financial year following INZ inquiries.