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Improved border security measures to keep out people who make false declarations Thursday, 12 February 2015

New measures have been introduced at the New Zealand border to refuse entry to overseas passengers who make serious false declarations on their arrival cards.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Assistant General Manager Peter Devoy says that the new immigration instructions will tighten up security at the border.

“The changes mean we are able to work even more closely with our colleagues at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to mitigate risks around foreign nationals who for example deliberately conceal or fail to declare biosecurity risk goods,” Mr Devoy says.

Steve Gilbert, MPI’s Border Clearance Director, says that the changes show that border agencies take false declarations on arrival cards very seriously because of the potential impacts on the New Zealand economy.

“We plan to use the measures where the offending is serious and a wilful or deliberate attempt to conceal goods or deceive border officers,” Mr Gilbert says. “The message is clear - it’s simply not worth the risk to try to bring in prohibited goods without declaring them.”

During the last financial year (1 July 2013 – 30 June 2014) a total of 1,026 people were refused entry when they arrived at the New Zealand border.

The main reasons people are refused entry include not being considered to be genuine temporary entrants or not meeting character requirements for the grant of a visa.

Contact MPI on 029 8940328 or INZ on 0274 422 141 or email.

media@mbie.govt.nz