30 Nov 2006

Samoa PM blames New Zealand Samoans for increase of overstayers

7:16 pm on 30 November 2006

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, says Samoans are the biggest group of overstayers in New Zealand.

Tuila'epa says that nearly all the cases, Samoans have been encouraged by relatives to stay longer than their permits allow and end up breaking the law.

The truth, he says, is that 99 percent of overstaying is caused by his own people.

The prime minister's comments follows last week's annual bilateral talks in Wellington with the New Zealand government officials.

New Zealand plans to hire seasonal workers from the Pacific and Tuila'epa says his government might conduct a draw to select the workers.