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Samoa tops NZ’s unwanted list

A change to the Immigration Act in 2010 led to the number of deportations jumping by more than 2000 per cent. [Photo: JF/Samoa Observer]

Auckland – Samoa has topped New Zealand’s ugliest list. Of 550 overstayers and convicted criminals who have been deported this year, Samoa had the most people on it.

Up until August 31 this year, most people deported were sent to Samoa, India, China, Fiji and Tonga.

Of the 550, just 108 were females.

The information, provided to the Herald by Immigration New Zealand, also shows the finalised deportation figures for the 2011 calendar year.

In total, 664 people were deported - 149 women and 515 men. Again, Samoa was the leading country for deportations.

A person can be deported from New Zealand for three reasons. Some are criminals and others have overstayed their visa limit.

A smaller number are subject to a residence deportation - where they have held permanent residency but have become liable for deportation, usually because of criminal offending.

"People unlawfully in New Zealand are case managed according to their circumstances," an Immigration New Zealand spokeswoman said.

"Those engaged in criminality are the highest priority for deportation. We work with the police and other agencies to ensure this process is as efficient as possible.

"However, the majority of those unlawfully in New Zealand are not criminals.

They choose to remain here for a number of reasons such as employment and family. In these cases, we focus more attention in engaging with the individual and actively case-managing them towards what we call a voluntary departure."



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