15 April 2009
Illegally emigrating to New Zealand to be discussed at Bali meeting
Emigrating to New Zealand illegally will be the focal point of discussions for Immigration Minister Doctor Jonathan Coleman at the Bali Process on People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons.
While emigrating to New Zealand will be at the forefront of Dr Coleman's agenda, there will be a further 40 countries represented at the meeting, which is designed to strengthen borders from people smuggling attempts and human trafficking.
"The Bali Process helps New Zealand by strengthening our ability to deal with smuggling and trafficking from Asian source countries and enhancing information sharing between members, thereby reducing the possibility for criminal activity at our borders.
"Despite New Zealand's geographical isolation, which mitigates our exposure to people smuggling and trafficking in persons, we treat these issues very seriously," says Dr Coleman.
This month, a people-smuggling boat was found in international waters with the intention of emigrating to New Zealand illegally; however, after running aground in the Torres Strait, the Australian immigration authorities detained the people for questioning on Christmas Island.
New Zealand's current 'Plan of Action' for fighting people smuggling will be put forward to the Cabinet within the next few months, and will focus on punishing offenders in people trafficking rings and helping the victims of trafficking.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to New Zealand.