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No Change to Trans Tasman Travel Arrangement

17 April 2001 Media Statement

No Change to Trans Tasman Travel Arrangement

New Zealand's Trans-Tasman travel arrangement with Australia remains secure despite initial concerns that it could be affected by the Government's Transitional Policy for well-settled overstayers, Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said today.

The Minister today released information outlining advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade regarding the Government's then proposed regularisation policy affecting well-settled overstayers in New Zealand.

The previously withheld information was additional to information released earlier this year, prior to the signing of the Social Security Agreement between Australia and New Zealand.

"Now that that agreement has been finalised, and the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement remains intact, this additional advice can now be released.

"As Prime Minister Helen Clark said when the new Social Security Agreement was announced in February, both countries had been dissatisfied with the arrangements for some time.

"The papers released today indicate some concern that the Transitional Policy, which offered well-settled overstayers the opportunity to regularise their status, could impact negatively on the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.

"This has in fact proven not to be the case, as the travel arrangements between both countries remain the same.

ENDS

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