Aussie cruise ship passenger denied New Zealand entry on 'character grounds'

Police at Port Otago on Wednesday, March 1.
HAMISH McNEILLY/FAIRFAX NZ

Police at Port Otago on Wednesday, March 1.

An Australian passenger has been denied entry to New Zealand as his cruise ship arrived after a voyage around the country.

When the vessel Azamara Journey arrived at Port Otago, Dunedin on Wednesday morning, a large welcome party of police and Immigration New Zealand officials was there to meet one of its passengers.

Police declined to comment on the incident, but a spokesman for Immigration NZ confirmed that an Australian cruise ship passenger was referred to the department.

"After an interview the passenger was refused entry to New Zealand on character grounds," he said.

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The department declined to make further comment, citing privacy and legal reasons.

The main reasons people were refused entry on character requirements, included not declaring serious criminal convictions.

The vessel departed Dunedin on Wednesday night for Akaroa.

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly named the cruise ship as the Emerald Princess. 

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