25 September 2012

Judge bemoans NZ immigration power after rise in drunk tourists

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A Queenstown judge has expressed his disappointment that he does not have the New Zealand immigration authority to deport two drunked French tourists.

New Zealand visa

Drunk tourists in Queenstown are beginning to damage the region's reputation.

Two French men, arrested separately for alcohol related offences, appeared in a district court last week but were spared deportation as a district court judge does not have the power to rescind a New Zealand visa.

Judge Dominic Flatley told the court alochol related crime, particularly that stemming from drunken toruists, is tarnishing the region's image and businesses within the area are beginning
to suffer.

One business owner says judges should have the power to deport tourists, or those on a working holiday visa (WHV) arrested for disruptive behaviour.

"If somebody does do somewthing which is completely anti-social, and possibly in a violent way as well, they need to go," said Tim McGeorge who owns a backpackers establishment in the area.

Jenny Espiner, New Zealand WHV Processing Manager, said people are liable to let loose while away from home but would do well to bear in any potential consequences.

"Judges might not have the authority to deport you on the spot (yet)," said Ms Espiner.

"But there will still be a record of any arrests or charges against you during your time in New Zealand and this could affect future visa applications, not just to New Zealand but to Australia as well."

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

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