5 Oct 2006

Concerns on Niue over marriages of convenience for access to New Zealand

5:14 pm on 5 October 2006

The Niue immigration minister, Fisa Pihigia, has raised concerns over foreigners who have moved to the island after failing to get residency extensions in New Zealand.

He says several men are married to Niuean women who have remained in New Zealand.

Mr Pihigia says they may be marriages of convenience.

He says he thinks the men intend completing the residency qualifiying period on Niue before applying for New Zealand citizenship - a practice he is unhappy with.

"Because I don't want Niue used as a stepping stone to New Zealand by using this particular link - inter marriage or just marriage of convenience and if they have problems in New Zealand they just come to Niue and apply from Niue. It only adds to our problem of providing services to them."

The New Zealand residential qualifying period for citizenship is five years.