Human Rights Watch is warning New Zealand about extraditing Chinese fugitives, saying they could be tortured if they are returned home.
China has released of a list of 100 people who have fled the country after being charged with crimes such as embezzlement, fraud and bribery.
It said between 11 and 20 were thought to be hiding in New Zealand.
The police have confirmed some are living here but the government said it had not received any extradition requests.
Human Rights Watch Asian division spokesperson Maya Wang said sending people back could put them in danger.
"The Chinese criminal justice system lacks independence from the party and is susceptible to political interference. Most problematically, there is endemic torture."
New Zealand has no formal extradition treaty with China but a spokesperson for the Justice Minister said the minister would consider any request on a case-by-case basis.