14 Feb 2020

Forty percent fall in deportations from New Zealand

4:26 pm on 14 February 2020

The number of people deported from New Zealand has fallen by 40 percent.

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Photo: 123rf

There were about 1700 in the last financial year compared to almost 3000 the year before.

The decrease includes voluntary departures managed by Immigration New Zealand, which fell by a 1000 last year, to their lowest level in at least four years.

Deportations undertaken by immigration officials were also down from 642 to 453.

The numbers include overstayers and criminals who had been deported after their sentences.

Immigration New Zealand said the number of deportations could vary according to the complexity of cases.

It did not reply to a question about whether there had been a change to compliance action or fewer resources to deport people.

"Every year INZ's Compliance unit deports or manages the voluntary departure of between 1500 - 2000 individuals who are either in breach of visa conditions or unlawfully in New Zealand," said its acting general manager of border and visa operations, Jock Gilray.

"The number of deportations can vary annually due to a number of factors, such as the varying complexities of each individual case; the need for coordination with other government agencies; and the significant involvement of Compliance Officers throughout the process, which can all lead to longer timeframes and therefore impact the number of deportations per year."

The government increased its funding of compliance staffing at Immigration New Zealand following a 2018 report into deportations which concluded "case officers' caseloads are high, technical and administrative support is thin."

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