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Report shows critical work done at the border

27 December 2013

Report shows critical work done at the border

A new report out today illustrates the work border officers do every day to manage the difficult balance between making it as easy as possible for genuine passengers to come here while keeping out those who present a risk to New Zealand.

The Year at the Border 2012/13 report shows that during the year:
• 4.9 million passengers arrived in New Zealand
• 1,696 people were denied permission to board flights to New Zealand because pre-arrival screening showed they would not be able to meet entry requirements.
• 777 people were refused entry when they arrived in New Zealand
• The oldest arriving passenger was 101 years old.

As is usually the case more Australians came here during the whole year (826,000) than anyone else, followed by visitors from the UK (307,000), China (284,000), USA (207,000) and Japan (90,000). Only one person from each of the following countries visited New Zealand during the year – Benin, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Cayman Islands, Martinique, Niger, Pitcairn Islands and Reunion.

Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) Manager, Border Operations, Karen Urwin, says border officers are constantly profiling flights to New Zealand and vetting passenger lists against databases of people known to present a risk, as well as looking for passengers whose personal details and travel plans match certain profiles.

“These passengers are intercepted at check-ins all around the world and interviewed by a border officer before a decision is made on whether to allow them to fly to New Zealand,” Ms Urwin says.

“As a result almost 1700 people were denied boarding, ensuring that New Zealand’s security is improved and the integrity of our immigration system is maintained.

“It would be impossible for INZ to achieve these results without the collaborative efforts of our partners at the border – the New Zealand Customs Service and the Ministry for Primary Industries.”

As well as detailed facts and figures the report includes a number of case studies from around the world, an update on the new infringement regime for airlines, a profile of Airline Liaison Officers at high-risk overseas airports and INZ’s role in the multi-agency Integrated Targeting and Operations Centre. The Centre is designed to bring representatives from all border agencies together to collaborate and coordinate on border targeting, operational planning and coordination.

A copy of The Year at the Border 2012/13 report is available at:

Immigration New Zealand is a part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.


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