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Transport visa requirements bureaucracy gone mad

26th March 2008


New transport visa requirements bureaucracy gone mad

Green Party MP Keith Locke has criticised the new requirements for people passing through New Zealand airports to get a transit visa.

"This requirement creates an unnecessary bureaucratic nightmare for travellers from poorer countries," says Mr Locke.

"Those from richer countries, with a visa-free status in New Zealand, won't have worry about the changes.

"But an Indian travelling to see family in Fiji via Auckland will now have to go to all the trouble of getting a transit visa from our High Commission in New Delhi.

"The latest move is a slap in the face to South Pacific Foreign Ministers meeting in Auckland today.

"Many tourists coming to the Pacific Islands via Auckland will now need an extra visa for a stopover between planes. This includes tourists from southern Asia, China, Indonesia, and Thailand.

"They might not bother, and go to another tourist destination.

"Some will choose to travel via another country - making Auckland International Airport and Air New Zealand the big losers.

"The move is not justified on security grounds. The danger posed by a passenger spending a few hours in a transit lounge at Mangere airport is minimal. What is the worst they can do? Vandalise a coffee machine?"


ENDS

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