Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Visa clampdown unfair

3 August 2006

Visa clampdown unfair to visitors from poor countries

Green Party MP Keith Locke says the significant increase in visa rejections for those seeking entry to New Zealand has little to do with terrorism. A special immigration profiling unit set up last year has turned down almost three times as many visa applications than in previous years by citizens who come from a secret list of 21 allegedly high risk countries.

"We have yet to see proof that anyone convicted for carrying out terrorist attacks, or anyone legitimately suspected of terrorist intentions, has ever tried to enter New Zealand," Mr Locke says.

"What MPs like me are finding is more complaints from New Zealanders that the Immigration Profiling Group is stopping their mother, father, brother or sister from coming for a visit. The people having the hardest time getting a visitor visa are those from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. For example, visitor visa approvals for Iraqis dropped from 214 in 2004/05 to 92 in 2005/06, for Zimbabweans from 924 to 306, for Burmese from 116 to 72 and for Somalians from 112 to 45.

"In one case, the mother of a New Zealander of Iraqi origin was denied the right to visit her daughter and grandchildren, on the grounds that she was unlikely to go back to Iraq because their was a war on. This was despite the fact that she had visited, without any problems, back in 1998, when the country was subject to severe UN sanctions.

"I also have a complaint from a Zimbabwean New Zealand resident about her brother being denied the right to visit her. The only particular ground given was 'the general inability of Zimbabwe citizens to be removed to Zimbabwe, should they become liable for removal from New Zealand.'

"One highly paid Pakistani businessman is being denied entry to visit his sister because, although he has travelled widely in the Middle East and South Asia, he had 'no record of having previously travelled to a western country.'".

"National MPs, who are raising the terrorism bogey, must know from their own constituency work, the injustice being done to many New Zealanders, whose family members are stopped from coming here. In January National MP Maurice Williamson raised the case of an elderly Baghdad couple refused permission to visit their sick son in Auckland [Sunday Star Times, January 8]

"There needs to be a serious inquiry into the vetting procedures of the Immigration Profiling Group, because its work is proving to be prejudicial and overly restrictive criteria are causing great sadness in many New Zealand families," said Mr Locke.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news