New Zealand welcomes almost 5 million visitors in a year

Over 4.9 million people entered New Zealand in some capacity during 2012/13, a new report from Immigration New Zealand shows.

New Zealand PeopleAs is usually the case, more Australians came to the country during the whole year (826,000) than anyone else, followed by visitors from the UK (307,000), China (284,000), USA (207,000) and Japan (90,000).

Only one person from each of the following countries visited New Zealand during the year – Benin, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Cayman Islands, Martinique, Niger, Pitcairn Islands and Reunion.

Other findings illustrated by the report are that some 1,696 people were denied permission to board flights to New Zealand because pre-arrival screening showed they would not be able to meet entry requirements, while a further 777 people were refused entry when they arrived in the country.

Immigration New Zealand’s Manager of Border Operations, Karen Urwin, says border officers are constantly profiling flights to New Zealand and vetting passenger lists against databases of people known to present a risk, as well as looking for passengers whose personal details and travel plans match certain profiles.

“These passengers are intercepted at check-ins all around the world and interviewed by a border officer before a decision is made on whether to allow them to fly to New Zealand,” Urwin says. “As a result almost 1,700 people were denied boarding, ensuring that New Zealand’s security is improved and the integrity of our immigration system is maintained.”

The report also found that the oldest arriving passenger to New Zealand last year was 101 years old.

Article published 27th December 2013

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