RefNZ News




19 December 2000  House of Lords dismisses appeal by Secretary of State on safe third country

14 December 2000  50th UNHCR Anniversary marked

14 December 2000  New Zealand signs United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its two Protocols on Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants

13 December 2000  RefNZ Website Upgrade - Court of Appeal refugee decisions now available in full text

9 December 2000  Trans-Tasman rights in jeopardy

9 December 2000  Visa free entry to Thailand in jeopardy

8 December 2000  Czech and Thai citizens to lose right of visa free entry

8 December 2000  Laotian government minister accused of corruption

29 November 2000  Stowaways apply for refugee status

28 November 2000  High Court dismisses challenge to Refugee Status Appeals Authority decision

16 November 2000  Immigration Officers ask Minister to apologise

11 November 2000  Amnesty to cost over $12 million

8 November 2000  Refugee community warned of prosecution over drug imports

7 November 2000  Laotian government minister granted political asylum

3 November 2000  Race Relations Conciliator unable to investigate treatment of Thais

26 October 2000  High Court of Australia considers civil war

25 October 2000  IARLJ Biannual meeting held in Berne

25 October 2000  Czech Rom refused entry

25 October 2000  Visa free entry of Thais under review

24 October 2000  High Court dismisses challenge to Refugee Status Appeals Authority decision

24 October 2000  Afghan refugee resettled in New Zealand

23 October 2000  Slow response to amnesty

21 October 2000  Action threatened over turnaround of Thai nationals

20 October 2000  Investigation under Privacy Act begins

19 October 2000  Anti-torture campaign launched

19 October 2000  Filipino family receives counselling

18 October 2000  Immigration Service errs again

15 October 2000  Privacy Commissioner to investigate removal case

13 October 2000  More criticism of immigration decisions

12 October 2000  Minister blames Immigration Service

11 October 2000  Family removed from New Zealand by mistake

11 October 2000  Chinese hungerstrikers criticised

4 October 2000  Minister of Immigration refuses to deal with hunger strikers

3 October 2000  Chinese migrant hunger strike continues

2 October 2000  Protest by Chinese migrants continues

1 October 2000  New refugee law website launched
1 October 2000  Amnesty commencement date

30 September 2000  Leave to appeal to Privy Council refused

28 September 2000  Chinese  migrants commence hunger strike

27 September 2000  Asian migrants protest exclusion from amnesty

21 September 2000  Protest at exclusion from amnesty

20 September 2000  High Court dismisses refugee challenge

19 September 2000  Refugee status claimants excluded from immigration amnesty

9 September 2000  Terrorism warning

29 August 2000  Afghan refugee denies being a terrorist

28 August 2000  Afghan refugees shocked

27 August 2000  Government warns against refugee backlash

26 August 2000  Allegation that "terrorist cell" found in Auckland

25 August 2000  High Court delivers decision concerning interpreters

24 August 2000  Prison inmate questioned by Australian detectives

17 August 2000  Tajikistan man unsuccessful in High Court challenge

16 August 2000  Refugee Status Appeals Authority publishes decision addressing the meaning of persecution, the nexus issue and the interpretation of the social group category

4 August 2000  Kosovars face employment difficulties

1 August 2000  Refugee Status Appeals Authority presents first annual report

28 July 2000  Regulation of immigration consultants mooted

27 July 2000  No trial in passport fraud case

25 July 2000  Immigration officer sent to jail

20 July 2000  Privy Council attempt in custody case

15 July 2000  Resettlement refugees from Burma arrive
13 July 2000  Former hunger strikers fail to present themselves for removal

11 July 2000  Court of Appeal reverses High Court judgment concerning hunger strikers who had claimed refugee status

6 July 2000  House of Lords delivers judgment on refugee claim by Slovakian Roma

27 June 2000  Immigration officer pleads guilty to corruption charges

26 June 2000  Update on Tajikistan man who remains in custody

26 June 2000  Customs Service defends refugee exercise

22 June 2000  Refugee Status Appeals Authority publishes decision addressing issues arising out of the internal protection alternative

21 June 2000  Boatpeople training exercise attracts further criticism

20 June 2000  Committal for trial in New Zealand passport fraud case

17 June 2000  Boatpeople training exercise ends in fiasco

16 June 2000  Amnesty International criticises detention of refugee claimants

2 June 2000  Refugee Status Appeals Authority publishes decision on the question whether it has jurisdiction to rehear an appeal

27 May 2000  Kosovars resettled in New Zealand require assistance

24 May 2000  Detained refugee claimant released

17 May 2000  Change to policy on returning residents' visas announced

17 May 2000  Immigration Service defends detention of refugee claimant

16 May 2000  Detention of refugee claimants criticized again

16 May 2000  DIMA to investigate why Somali man prevented from travelling to New Zealand

15 May 2000  Somali avoids expulsion to Somalia

12 May 2000  False rumours in Zimbabwe about New Zealand

10 May 2000  Call for beds and other household items

2 May 2000  Tajikistan man to remain in custody

22 April 2000  Entry for Zimbabweans speeded up

20 April 2000  Refugee applications by victims of violence in Zimbabwe possible

19 April 2000  Refugee claimant from Liberia excluded from Refugee Convention

19 April 2000  Two Chinese Indonesians interviewed

17 April 2000  Prime Minister attends Sikh celebrations

15 April 2000  Minister of Immigration seeks report on Chinese Indonesians

14 April 2000  Chinese Indonesians begin campaign to stay in New Zealand

13 April 2000  High Court of Australia again considers the social group category

7 April 2000  High Court upholds decision of Refugee Status Appeals Authority

28 March 2000  New Zealand prisons may be used to house war criminals

24 March 2000  Australia fines Air New Zealand

24 March 2000  Refugee hostel receives government funding

23 March 2000  Tajikistan man still held in Mt Eden prison

21 March 2000  Court appearances in alien smuggling case

18 March 2000  Persons charged in alien smuggling case fail to obtain injunction to prevent media reporting of case

15 March 2000  Police inquiry into alien smuggling case continues

14 March 2000  Police arrests in alien smuggling case

10 March 2000  Inaugural meeting of IARLJ Australia/New Zealand Chapter

9 March 2000  Erika Feller (UNHCR) speaks in Auckland

4 March 2000  False New Zealand passports sold

March 2000  Resettlement/mandate refugees compared with spontaneous refugees

24 February 2000  Trauma clinic opened

22 February 2000  High Court sets aside decision of Refugee Status Appeals Authority

27 January 2000  Refugee and Migrant Service argues for more resources for resettlement refugees and asks government to reverse decision to screen immigrants for HIV and Aids

26 January 2000  Refugee Status Appeals Authority publishes decision on the question whether adjournments should be granted because counsel has other commitments

26 January 2000  Minister of Immigration to consider compulsory registration of immigration consultants

22 January 2000 Tuberculosis rising in New Zealand and new measures considered

20 January 2000  Deported man from Tajikistan lodges second refugee claim

18 January 2000  Federal Court of Canada restricts application of Convention against Torture

19 December 2000 The House of Lords has upheld the decision in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Ex parte Adan [1999] 3 WLR 1274 (CA).  In so ruling their Lordships have held that the "accountability" interpretation of persecution adopted in Germany and France is wrong with the result that the Secretary of State may not send a refugee claimant back to a third country if the Secretary of State considers that the other state's interpretation would lead to the individual being sent back by that state to a state where he or she has established a fear of persecution which the Secretary of State finds to be covered by the Refugee Convention.

[R v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Ex parte Adan (19 December 2000)]

14 December 2000 Marking the 50th UNHCR Anniversary, the Minister of Immigration, Hon Lianne Dalziel, has launched in Wellington the UNHCR The State of the World's Refugees 2000 - 50 Years of Humanitarian Action (Oxford University Press 2000).  The Minister also announced that Cabinet had recently approved an overarching framework for refugee resettlement in New Zealand and confirmed that she was keen for New Zealand to be involved in the UNHCR's review of the Refugee Convention.  She said that while the core principles and values of the Convention will continue to be upheld, it was a timely opportunity to look at the Convention 50 years on.  One issue many countries would like addressed was the need for increasing the share of resettlement responsibilities with other nations.  Presently New Zealand offered refuge to up to 750 displaced people annually.  This figure did not include family members who arrived later under the family sponsored categories, nor asylum-seekers granted refugee status in New Zealand each year.  New Zealand's overall commitment, when these refugees are included, was over 1,000 refugees a year.

[Hon Lianne Dalziel, "50th UNHCR Anniversary", Media Statement, Thursday 14 December 2000]

14 December 2000 New Zealand today signed the new United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its two Protocols on Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants.  The Convention and Protocols are intended to close the major loopholes blocking international efforts to crackdown on groups engaged in a wide range of highly profitable illegal enterprises, including money laundering and trafficking and smuggling people.  The Convention and Protocols will come into force when 40 states have ratified them.  The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Phil Goff says that New Zealand will begin its domestic ratification process next year.  This will involve getting Cabinet approval for the implementation measures required, select committee consideration of the three instruments and, finally, passage of legislation.

[Hon Phil Goff, "NZ signs treaty to combat transnational organised crime", Media Statement, Thursday 14 December 2000]
13 December 2000 New Zealand Court of Appeal cases dealing with refugee issues are now available on the Case Search page of this website in full text format.  In addition, for each decision there is a comprehensive headnote summarising the important holdings and observations made by the Court of Appeal.  Where appropriate there is also an editorial note concerning matters relevant to the particular decision.  As part of the upgrade of the website it is intended that in the new year the full text of all High Court decisions addressing refugee issues will likewise be available in full text format.  Readers may also be interested in the fact that there is now available on the Comment page a dissertation by Asher Davidson on E v Attorney-General [2000] NZAR 354 (Fisher J).  The dissertation is "Article 31(2) of the Refugee Convention and its Implementation in New Zealand: Is Detention Defensible?" (June 2000).  This dissertation was published prior to the delivery by the Court of Appeal of its decision in Attorney-General v E [2000] 3 NZLR 257 (CA) but is nevertheless helpful in understanding the issues raised by the detention of asylum-seekers.

9 December 2000 It is reported that New Zealand citizens and permanent residents moving to Australia will soon lose traditional rights to welfare benefits and health care in a reportedly secret trans-Tasman deal expected to be signed before Christmas.

[Chris Daniels & NZPA, "Kiwis to lose Australian benefit rights", Weekend Herald, December 9, 2000, front page]

9 December 2000 The right of New Zealand citizens to a three-month visa-free holiday in Thailand is likely to be reduced to 30 days after the decision by the New Zealand Government to end visa free status for Thai nationals entering New Zealand.

["Thais react to visa ban", Weekend Herald, December 9, 2000, p A5]

8 December 2000 The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel has announced that visitors from Thailand and the Czech Republic will require visitor visas from 1 January 2001.  The suspension of the visa waiver agreements with the Czech Republic and Thailand was the result of a number of visitors claiming refugee status when in New Zealand, being refused entry at the border or working illegally in New Zealand.  Visa waiver status with Thailand was introduced in November 1987 and with the Czech Republic in October 1996.  The Minister has stated that New Zealand must move to put a stop to people seeking to prop up illegal work practices and those who are diverting valuable time and resource from genuine refugee claims.  The recent rise in the number of refugee claims by Thai and Czech nationals was, she said, perhaps explained by the ability of refugee claimants to obtain work permits and access to the benefit system.  It is reported that Government statistics show that 905, or 73% of the 1,239 people refused entry to New Zealand last year and this year were Thai nationals.  On average 30 Thai nationals make refugee claims each month.  Of the 188 decisions on Thai claims made this year, only one has been approved.  In 1999 and 2000, there were 1,630 Czech visitors to New Zealand of whom 129 claimed refugee status.  None has been approved.  The Czech Republic honorary counsel in Wellington is reported as blaming the problem on Romanies.

[Hon Lianne Dalziel, "Changes to Thai and Czech visa requirements", Media Statement, Friday 8 December 2000; Scott Inglis, "Visa-free abuse leaves Thais and Czechs stuck at border", NZ Herald, Friday, December 8, 2000, front page]

8 December 2000 A former Laotian government minister granted refugee status in New Zealand has been accused of corruption.  It is reported that the Laos government would like to talk to the man about the disappearance of a large amount of money from the Laos treasury and how he and his family acquired considerable property in Vientianne.  It is further reported that a New Zealander in Laos who has also worked in the government there says government corruption is endemic and the man's greatest crime seemed to be that he had not shared his spoils round the ruling clique.  Three weeks ago the Prime Minister, Helen Clark announced that the man had been granted asylum and that she would be making no further comment.  It is reported that when it was pointed out to her office that the man had been refused asylum in France, Italy and the USA, the Prime Minister's press secretary said there would still be no comment on the topic.

[Pat Plunket, "Government happy to let allegedly corrupt fugitive stay", The National Business Review, December 8, 2000, p 15]

29 November 2000 Three African stowaways who jumped ship at Whangarei have applied for refugee status and been issued with work permits pending the hearing of their cases.  It is reported that approximately three months ago the men stowed away on board a vessel at the South African port of Owendo hoping that the vessel would take them to Canada.  Instead their ship visited Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan before arriving in New Zealand.  At each port the men had been locked up.  It is not known how the men managed to escape at Whangarei.  It is reported that the men claim to come from Sierra Leone.

[Daniel Jackson, "Trio found in log pile after jumping ship", NZ Herald, Wednesday,  November 29, 2000, p A4]

28 November 2000 The High Court has dismissed judicial review proceedings against the Refugee Status Appeals Authority on the grounds that the proceedings were in effect an appeal under the guise of judicial review  procedure.  The High Court found that the challenge to the RSAA's credibility finding and the criticism of the competence and judgment of counsel who represented the refugee claimant at the appeal hearing lacked foundation.  As the review application was unfounded and bereft of any merit, the High Court was of the view that this was an appropriate case in which to order the payment of costs by the plaintiff and/or his lawyers who made and pursued the proceedings.  Counsel have been asked to file memoranda.

[M v Refugee Status Appeals Authority (High Court Auckland, M1101-SW00, 28 November 2000, Nicholson J)]

16 November 2000 It has been reported that two Auckland Immigration Service officers have filed personal grievance claims and are demanding apologies from the Minister of Immigration after she told Parliament she had been misled by officials and that they had "let the country down."  Since then, an investigation by the State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, has found that there was no intention to mislead the minister.

[Eugene Bingham, "Apology call after Dalziel's outburst", NZ Herald, Thursday, November 16, 2000, p A3]
11 November 2000 Cabinet papers released by the office of the Minister of Immigration show that the Government's controversial amnesty for overstayers will cost $12.47 million in the next four years.  The Minister is reported as saying that the costs reflected the need to correct poor policy and unworkable decisions in the past.  The issue will be addressed in a review of immigration fees later in the financial year.

["Overstayers amnesty to cost $12.4m", Weekend Herald, Saturday, November 11, 2000, p A11]

8 November 2000 The New Zealand Customs Service has warned immigrants from Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen and other southern Arab states that they may be prosecuted if they continue to receive  from overseas supplies of the plant-based Class C drug known as khat. It is reported that there are more than 1500 Somalis and Ethiopians in the country, most of them refugees.  Customs say that  over the past two years there had been a marked increase in shipments of khat and that recently there had been interceptions from Melbourne where a large number of Somalis live.  More than 30 shipments had been seized over the past 12 months.  Customs wished to educate the migrant community to discourage overseas contacts from sending the product rather than have Customs formally executing search warrants.  If education did not work and if the imports continued, they would have to initiate action under the legislation.

[Ron Taylor, "Drug warning for refugees to chew on", NZ Herald, Wednesday, November 8, 2000]

7 November 2000 A defecting Laotian government minister who disappeared for several months is reported to have been granted political asylum when he arrived in New Zealand by air on Sunday 5 November 2000.  It is understood that the man's arrival followed a finding by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that the man was within the High Commissioner's mandate as "a person of concern".  New Zealand was then recommended as a country that might grant him entry under it's annual refugee resettlement quota.

[John Armstrong, "Elusive Laos minister granted asylum in NZ", NZ Herald, Tuesday, November 7, 2000, p A5]

3 November 2000 The Race Relations Conciliator has been asked to investigate why so many Thai visitors have been turned around at New Zealand airports but says that he cannot formally do so as immigration policies are exempt from the Human Rights Act.  He might, however, have informal talks with the Minister of Immigration.

["MP wants inquiry into treatment of Thais", NZ Herald, Friday, November 3, 2000]

26 October 2000 The High Court of Australia (Gleeson CJ, Gummow, Hayne & Callinan JJ; Gaudron, McHugh & Kirby JJ dissenting) has allowed an appeal by the Government against a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia which had held that the Refugee Review Tribunal had erred in law in declining a refugee application by a Somali national.  The seven separate judgments of the High Court examine the clan - based conflict in Somalia; whether the anticipated persecution was for a Convention ground; the use of the terms "civil war", "civil conflict" and "systematic persecution"; whether the Convention definition permits or requires examination of the "motivation" for or "objects of" a "civil war" or "civil conflict" or demonstration of a "differential operation" on a
refugee applicant's social group.

[Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs v Ibrahim [2000] HCA 55 (26 October 2000) S157/1999]

25 October 2000 From 25 October to 28 October 2000 the fifth biannual meeting of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges was held at Berne, Switzerland.

25 October 2000 A mentally handicapped Czech man, a gypsy, was refused entry at Auckland International Airport notwithstanding that his mother, father, sister and brother-in- law were at the airport to meet him.  It is reported that the man only had US$100 and NZ$75 in his possession as he expected to be supported by his family.  It is said that as he spoke little English he did not understand what was happening.  A spokesperson for the family is reported as saying that he suspected that border officials were concerned that the man would apply for refugee status as his parents had made such application.  The Minister of Immigration is reported as being satisfied that officials followed correct procedures and made the right decision.

[Alan Perrott "New look at Thais free entry", NZ Herald, Wednesday, October 25, 2000]

25 October 2000 The visa free entry of Thai nationals to New  Zealand is under review after disclosure of the high number of Thais turned around at New Zealand ports of entry.  Thais accounted for 900 of the 1238 people turned around at Auckland and Christchurch airports between July 1999 and June 2000.  New Zealand officials are said to be discussing how the problem can be remedied.  The Minister of Immigration is reported as saying that the number of persons refused entry was extraordinary and twenty times as many as the next highest countries, Australia and Malaysia.  If no answer could be found the right of visa free entry for Thai nationals might have to end.  She accepted that some Thais were being wrongly refused entry because with such significant numbers mistakes would happen.

[Alan Perrott "New look at Thais free entry", NZ Herald, Wednesday, October 25, 2000]
24 October 2000 The High Court has rejected an argument that any breach of a human right is per se persecution under the Refugee Convention.

[Q v Refugee Status Appeals Authority (High Court Wellington, CP57/2000, 24 October 2000, Durie J)]

24 October 2000 The man who was Foreign Minister of Afghanistan from 1992 until 1996 and who fears persecution by the Taliban has been resettled in New Zealand as a refugee.  His earlier application to be resettled in Australia had been rejected.  The chairman of the Refugee Council of Australia is reported to have expressed outrage at the Australian decision and to have praised New Zealand for the efficiency with which it handled the case.

[Jo-Marie Brown, "NZ opens door to rejected refugee", NZ Herald, Tuesday, October 24, 2000]

23 October 2000 The six month amnesty for well-settled overstayers has attracted only a few hundred applications in its first three weeks.  The Minister of Immigration is reported as expecting 8000 of the estimated 20,000 overstayers living in New Zealand to qualify for the amnesty.  However those working with overstayers report distrust of the Government in the wake of well-publicised mistakes in which members of a Filipino family were removed and then returned to New Zealand and a Tongan man was jailed.  Both actions were mistakes caused by a flood of removal order appeals to the Removal Review Authority.  Such appeal suspends the removal order until the appeal is determined.  Normally the Authority receives about 18 appeals each week, but it was flooded with about 1000 appeals in the week leading to 30 September 2000.

[Alan Perrott, "Expulsions making overstayers wary", NZ Herald, Monday, October 23, 2000]

21 October 2000 The Thai Government is considering joining legal action against the New Zealand Immigration Service over the treatment of Thais arriving in New Zealand.  Thai Embassy officials in Wellington are reported to be alarmed at reports of their citizens being held as suspected overstayers or prostitutes after arriving in Auckland or Christchurch.   A total of 1238 people were refused entry to New Zealand in the year to June, 900 of them from Thailand.  That number is more than 20 times that of the groups with the next highest rate of refusal, Australians and Malaysians, with 42 each.  A spokesman for the Immigration Service is reported as saying that only about 5 per cent of Thais arriving in New Zealand were refused entry.  Of those, only a very small number were detained.  He said evidence showed many of those sent home had been forced to borrow money to travel.

[Alan Perrott, "Border police anger embassy", Weekend Herald, Saturday, October 21, 2000]

20 October 2000 The Privacy Commissioner has initiated an investigation into the actions of the Immigration Service which led to the mistaken removal from New Zealand of members of a Filipino family who had overstayed their temporary permits.  The Commissioner is reported as saying that his investigation would centre on provisions of the law which require agencies to take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the information upon which they act.  A finding against the Service could see it ordered to pay compensation.

[Eugene Bingham, "Privacy Commissioner investigating actions of Immigration Service", NZ Herald, Friday, October 20, 2000]

19 October 2000 The Prime Minister, Helen Clark yesterday launched an Amnesty International campaign aimed at stamping out torture worldwide.  However the lawyer representing the former Mangaroa Prison inmates who received compensation payments for being brutalised by prison warders is reported as saying that it was somewhat hypocritical that New Zealand could be regarded as torture-free while the Mangaroa debate continued. He said that a complaint to the United Nations Committee Against Torture was still being considered as a result of issues outstanding from Mangaroa.

["Lawyer finds anti-torture action hollow", NZ Herald, Thursday, October 19, 2000]

19 October 2000 The Filipino family mistakenly removed from New Zealand is now receiving counselling for trauma at the expense of the taxpayer.

["Filipino family receives counselling", NZ Herald, Thursday, October 19, 2000]

18 October 2000 A Tongan man who overstayed his temporary permit but later appealed to the  Removal Review Authority was mistakenly told, after his arrest on a charge of wilful damage, that he would be removed to Tonga.  After the error was discovered he was released from police custody.  The Minister of Immigration is reported as saying that the problem had been caused by a flood of last minute appeals before the new immigration regime came into effect on 1 October 2000.

[Alan Perrott and Naomi Larkin, "Second overstayer mistreated", NZ Herald, Wednesday, October 18, 2000]

15 October 2000 The Privacy Commissioner is to examine whether Immigration officials breached the privacy of a Filipino family they mistakenly removed from New Zealand. The question is reported as being whether the officials failed to ensure they were acting on correct information.

["Raid check", Sunday Star-Times, October 15, 2000, p A2]

13 October 2000 The cost to the New Zealand taxpayer of  bringing back a family mistakenly removed to the Philippines was approximately $4,000.00.  It is also reported that a Thai woman plans legal action against the Immigration Service and the Police for allegedly treating her in an inhumane manner.  It is claimed that when she arrived in New Zealand the first time she was turned around at Christchurch Airport without explanation. When she arrived the second time she claims to have been held in custody for two and a half days and was two hours away from removal when a Rotorua judge ruled by telephone that she could stay on a visitors permit.  Her lawyer is reported as saying that it is thought that the authorities suspected that the woman was looking to work as a prostitute.  An Inspector at Counties - Manukau police is reported as saying that he found it highly unlikely that the woman was treated as claimed.

[Alan Perrott, "Immigration Service in strife for 'inhuman' treatment", NZ Herald, Friday, October 13, 2000]

12 October 2000 In the wake of the mistaken removal from New Zealand of a family of overstayers, the Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel has announced that raids to remove overstayers will not start before 7 am.  She is reported to have openly attacked her own officers for lying to her about the timing of their visit to the family.  At the same time the Minister has rejected suggestions that the crackdown on overstayers, which includes the threat of instant deportation, was too tough and pointed out that the individuals had had over a year to lodge the appeal not even counting the two years that they had had before that to deal with their unlawful status in New Zealand.  The appeal had been lodged on the last day.

[Katherine Hoby, "Thrown out before breakfast", NZ Herald, Thursday, October 12, 2000 pp A1 & A2]

11 October 2000 The New Zealand Immigration Service has mistakenly removed from New Zealand a Filipino family of three adults and one child even though the mother and child had outstanding appeals to the Removal Review Authority.  An Immigration Service spokesman is reported as saying that an apology will be made and the family flown back to Auckland where they will be issued with temporary permits until their appeals are heard.

["Filipino family wrongly deported from Auckland", NZ Herald, Wednesday, October 11, 2000]

11 October 2000 It has been reported that the BBC Radio Chinese talkback programme, Good Morning Auckland has been flooded with calls from the Chinese community criticising the hungerstrikers who spent eight days in Aotea Square protesting against their exclusion from the immigration amnesty.  The callers said going through the media instead of the correct channels was rude and that if the hungerstrikers had grounds to appeal, they should go through the proper channels. Most callers thought the Minister of Immigration was treating the strikers fairly as she was ready to reason with individual cases.

[Kerry Murphy, "Callers criticise Aotea Square hunger strikers", East & Bays Courier, Wednesday, October 11, 2000, p 15]

4 October 2000 The Minister of Immigration has refused to deal with anyone on a hunger-strike, saying that the actions of the Chinese migrants who are on a hunger-strike are blackmail.  She says that refugee applicants were not included in the October amnesty in order to stop refugee claims being used as a back-door into New Zealand.  Five more of the hunger-strikers were taken to hospital yesterday after collapsing from dehydration.

[Alan Perrott, "I will not be blackmailed, says Dalziel", NZ Herald, Wednesday, October 4, 2000, p A5]

3 October 2000 Four more Chinese migrants protesting exclusion from the October policy have been hospitalised.  The group claim to have raised $15,000 of the $50,000 they need to pay for legal action against the government.  The Human Rights Commission has accepted the position of the Minister of Immigration on the Chinese migrants, saying that they should take up her offer of a review.

[Alan Perrott & Stacey Bodger, "Hunger strike tears, pleas as rain takes toll", NZ Herald, Tuesday, October 3, 2000, p A3]

2 October 2000 The protest by Chinese migrants over the exclusion from the October amnesty of failed asylum-seekers continues.  Over the weekend four of the twenty-five remaining hunger-strikers collapsed from dehydration and were taken to hospital.  Sikh and Pakistani migrants who have also been refused refugee status were expected to join the hunger-strike.  However, the President of the Refugee Council, Dr Rasalingam, is reported as saying that the hunger-strikers should accept that they had no chance of winning a blanket amnesty for people who had applied unsuccessfully for refugee status.

[Alan Perrott, "Amnesty protesters stay put", NZ Herald, Monday, October 2, 2000, p A4]
1 October 2000 The University of Michigan Law School has launched an important refugee caselaw website ( ).  The site currently collects, indexes and publishes selected recent court decisions that interpret the legal definition of a 'refugee'.  It presently contains cases from the highest national courts of Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Cases for this site are indexed by Professor James Hathaway of the University of Michigan Law School and by Professor Walter Kalin of the Institute of Public Law of the Faculty of Law, University of Bern.

1 October 2000 The Immigration (Special Regularisation) Regulations 2000 (SR 2000/187) come into force today.  These regulations allow for the regularisation of the immigration status of certain persons and their immediate family who are or become unlawfully in New Zealand on or before 30 March 2001 but who, by reason of personal circumstances, could be considered to be well-settled in New Zealand.  The regulations provide the procedures for such people to apply for an initial temporary permit under a transitional immigration policy, and then for a residence permit under a special residence policy. 

30 September 2000 The Court of Appeal has refused leave to appeal to the Privy Council in Attorney-General v E (CA 282/99, 11 July 2000).  The Court of Appeal ruled that as all the men had had their cases heard by the Refugee Status Appeals Authority, their claim to have had a legitimate expectation of being given temporary permits at the border while their refugee claims were heard was no longer a live issue.

["Asylum-seekers' appeal refused" Weekend Herald, September 30, 2000, p A11]

28 September 2000 About 100 Chinese migrants have commenced a hunger strike in Auckland to persuade the government to grant them New Zealand residence permits.  The Minister of Immigration has agreed to review personally the case of any failed asylum-seeker who fulfils the "well-settled" amnesty criteria.  The President of the Refugee Council, Dr Rasalingam is reported as being pleased with the Minister's concessions and that while he respected the right of the hunger-strikers to protest, he thought that their action was premature as the Council was making every effort to ensure that the situation was resolved.

[Alan Perrott, "Chinese refugees on hunger strike", NZ Herald, Thursday, September 28, 2000, p A9]

27 September 2000 It is reported that several hundred Asian migrants intend protesting in Aotea Square, Auckland over their exclusion from the overstayer amnesty.  Their complaint is that the amnesty excludes anyone who has applied for refugee status and as most refugee claimants are from Asian countries, most of those who will benefit from the amnesty will be from the Pacific Islands.  The National Party MP, Pansy Wong is reported as saying that many of the group are scared because they were advised to apply for refugee status on the understanding that they would later get residence.  The exclusion would mainly affect Chinese and Indians who made up forty-seven percent of those applying for refugee status between 1990 and June 1999.  The Minister of Immigration is reported as saying that she will continue to deal with applications from failed refugee claimants personally.  She says that the trouble is that there are some people who have been quite genuine, others who have been tricked by immigration consultants and others who have abused the United Nations Refugee Convention to enter New Zealand.  For that reason she had excluded them all.

[Alan Perrott, "Asians to challenge amnesty exclusion", NZ Herald, Wednesday, September 27, 2000, p A4]

21 September 2000 The Refugee Council of New Zealand has expressed anger that refugee claimants have been excluded from the amnesty programme announced on 19 September 2000.  However, the Minister of Immigration is reported as having told Parliament that those who had been declined refugee status were excluded because of New Zealand's obligations to uphold the Refugee Convention.

[Alan Perrott & Bernard Orsman, "Fears over right to stay", NZ Herald, Thursday, September 21, 2000, p A3]

20 September 2000 The High Court has dismissed a challenge to a decision of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority (RSAA) which held that a refugee claimant was not a credible witness.  In dismissing the challenge the High Court confirmed that a refugee claimant has the responsibility of establishing his or her claim, as provided by the Immigration Act 1987, s 129P.  The High Court also held that the RSAA was not obliged to seek further information if it was not satisfied with the refugee claimant's evidence.  Nor was the RSAA required to cross-examine the author of a medical report.

[Don v Refugee Status Appeals Authority (High Court Auckland, M917-SW00, 20 September 2000, Chambers J)]

19 September 2000 The Minister of Immigration has announced that the Government has approved a one-off measure offering long-term, "well-settled" overstayers the opportunity to regularise their status in New Zealand.  Under the programme overstayers will have from 1 October 2000 until 30 March 2001 to lodge an application for a two-year work permit.  Only after the two years can a residence permit be sought.  To qualify applicants must have arrived in New Zealand before 1 October 1999 and have lived in New Zealand for more than five years, or have one or more New Zealand-born children or be living in a stable de facto relationship (two years duration) or be married to a New Zealand citizen or resident.  It is estimated that there are between 18,900 and 22,400 overstayers in New Zealand but the transitional programme is expected to affect only about a third of that number.  Estimated numbers of overstayers by nationality include Samoa (5,500), Tonga (5,000), Thailand (1,800), Great Britain (1,200), Fiji (900), China (600), Malaysia (500), India (500), Indonesia (300), USA (300), South Korea (300), Philippines (200).  It is estimated that 6,800 overstayers have been in New Zealand five years and over while 10,900 have been in New Zealand for between eighteen months and five years.  A further 3,000 have been in New Zealand for between three months and eighteen months.  However neither refugee status claimants nor failed refugee claimants can apply under the Transitional Policy as the Government believes that the refugee status claim process is well-established and distinct from immigration residence policy.  Between 1 October 2000 and 30 March 2001 the following groups will in general be subject to immediate removal:  Any person unlawfully in New Zealand who arrived on or after 1 October 1999; any person whose application for refugee status has been declined by either the Refugee Status Branch of the NZIS, or the Refugee Status Appeals Authority, or the interdepartmental Committee on Refugees; any person who has been served with a deportation order or for whom the deportation order process is underway; any persons whose application under the Transitional Policy has been declined.

[Hon Lianne Dalziel, "Last chance for well-settled overstayers", Media Statement, Tuesday, 19 September 2000; NZIS Information Sheet - October 2000 Transitional Policy; Bernard Orsman & Scott Inglis, "Last-chance amnesty for overstayers", NZ Herald, Wednesday, September 20, 2000, front page]

9 September 2000 The Director of the United States Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare is reported as saying that New Zealand is a "cleaning and conditioning station" for Islamic terrorists and that a suspected network uncovered in Auckland is not the only one operating in this country.  New Zealand was used as a staging post for terrorism because of its liberal society and "relaxed security environment".  It was an attractive place for terrorists to come to in order to gain refugee status and residence.  With "clean" documents they could travel the world easily.

[Tony Wall, "NZ a 'staging post' for terrorists waging holy war", Weekend Herald, Saturday, September 9, 2000, front page & p A3]

29 August 2000 The man said to be implicated in a possible plot to target a nuclear reactor in Sydney insists he is not a terrorist, but a law-abiding Afghan refugee.  The man revealed that it was his house in which detectives had allegedly discovered evidence of an apparent conspiracy to target a nuclear reactor in Sydney during the September 2000 Olympic Games.

[Scott Inglis, "Refugee hits back at terror claims" NZ Herald, Tuesday, August 29, 2000, p A3]

28 August 2000 Afghan refugees in Auckland are reported to be shocked that countrymen have been linked to an apparent terrorist plot targeting Australia during the Olympic Games.  A prominent member of the Auckland Afghan community is reported as saying that Immigration statistics show that 200 Afghans were granted refugee status in the past two years, while 17 were refused.  The man said Afghans in New Zealand did not keep close ties with one another because they had come this country to build new, peaceful lives.  Other Afghan refugees are reported as saying that they were particularly disturbed that police believe at least some of the twenty apparent terrorists were involved in armed conflicts before seeking refuge in New Zealand.  

[Stacey Bodger, "Shadow of violence touches refugees" NZ Herald, Monday, August 28, 2000, p A5]

27 August 2000 The Deputy Prime Minister, Jim Anderton has warned that refugees should not be discriminated against in the wake of allegations that a group of Auckland-based refugees has been involved in a possible terrorist plot to target a nuclear reactor during the September 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.  Both Mr Anderton and Police Minister George Hawkins are reported as saying that the story had been blown out of proportion, and had been written in a "monumentally beat-up kind of way".  It was not possible to assume "that all refugees or anyone who looks unusual and wears a turban is an international terrorist".  Australian Government officials are reported to have dismissed the possibility that the terrorist plot posed a serious threat to the nuclear reactor in Sydney and say that it will remain in operation during the Games.

[Miriyana Alexander, "Govt shrugs off terrorist report" Sunday Star-Times, August 27, 2000, p A2]

26 August 2000 It is reported that in March 2000 Auckland detectives allegedly discovered an apparent conspiracy to target a nuclear reactor in Sydney, venue for the September 2000 Olympic Games.  It is alleged that a clandestine cell of Afghan refugees in Auckland continue to maintain direct telephone links with suspected terrorist organisations in Afghanistan.

[John Andrews, "Terrorist cell" in Auckland, Weekend Herald, Saturday, August 26, 2000, front page]

25 August 2000 The High Court has dismissed a claim that an interpreter arranged by the Refugee Status Appeals Authority (RSAA) was neither independent nor competent.  The High Court challenge had been brought after a full day hearing before the RSAA and after the case had been adjourned part heard.  The High Court held that unless there are exceptional circumstances, challenge by review proceedings to the independence or competence of an interpreter should not be made until the hearing has finished and a decision given.  On the issue of independence, it was held that cogent evidence of actual or potential conflict of interest or bias was necessary.  The Court noted that there was no such evidence in the present case.  On the standard of interpretation, the Court held that while the standard should be high, it need not be one of perfection.  In determining adequacy of interpretation, a qualitative evaluation over the entire hearing should be made and should not be confined to just selective passages.  On the facts, no significant inadequacy of interpretation appeared from the transcript.  Indeed, the hearing seemed to have progressed smoothly with a conveying of considerable information to the RSAA without any apparent difficulty.  The Court observed that the lack of merit to the case led to the conclusion that the challenge was spurious.  Concern was expressed about the delay and cost to the Legal Aid fund which the challenge had incurred.  The application for review was dismissed.

[A v Refugee Status Appeals Authority (High Court Auckland M757-SW00, 25 August 2000, Nicholson J]

24 August 2000 A man who unsuccessfully sought refugee status in New Zealand and who was later arrested in May as he was about to leave the country, has since been held in Mt Eden Prison on fraud charges.  In June detectives from Perth flew to Auckland to speak to him in connection with the suspected murder of a West Australian backpacker in 1997.

[Tony Wall, "Man quizzed on backpacker" NZ Herald, Thursday, August 24, 2000, p A3]

17 August 2000 The High Court at Auckland has dismissed an application for review brought by a Tajik man who had been declined refugee status and whose appeal to the Refugee Status Appeals Authority had been unsuccessful.  The High Court held that the finding by the Authority that the harassment suffered by the man did not rise to the level of persecution was one that open to it and that there was evidence that State protection was available.

[Tishkovets v Refugee Status Appeals Authority (High Court, Auckland M1131-SW00, 17 August 2000, Salmon J)]

16 August 2000 The Refugee Status Appeals Authority has published an important decision in which it addresses the meaning of persecution, the Convention ground of particular social group and the nexus requirement.  In reviewing the meaning of persecution, the Authority has (inter alia) held that the decision of the House of Lords in Horvath v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2000] 3 WLR 379 should not be followed in New Zealand on the issue of sufficiency of state protection.  The Authority held that the proper approach is to inquire whether the protection available from the state will reduce the risk of serious harm to below the level of well-foundedness.  The Authority did, however, agree with the majority of their Lordships that in determining whether the particular facts established persecution, the test is whether there is both a risk of serious harm and a failure of state protection.  That is, Persecution = Serious Harm + The Failure of State Protection.  On the nexus issue the Authority has held that the nexus between the Convention reason and the persecution can be provided either by the serious harm limb or by the failure of the state protection limb.  This means that if a refugee claimant is at real risk of serious harm at the hands of a non-state agent for reasons unrelated to any of the Convention grounds, but the failure of state protection is for reason of a Convention ground, the nexus requirement is satisfied.  Conversely, if the risk of harm by the non-state agent is Convention related, but the failure of state protection is not, the nexus requirement is still satisfied.  On the social group issue the Authority has held that gender can be the defining characteristic of a social group and that "women" may be a particular social group.

[Refugee Appeal No. 71427/99 (16 August 2000)]

4 August 2000 A community worker for the Refugee and Migrant Service, Sandy O'Brien is reported as saying that of the 410 Kosovars brought to New Zealand, about 100 have returned and only five or six have found work.  For those who are returning to Kosovo, work is an issue and they see no future in New Zealand.  She did not think that employers' rejections are personal and the difficulties had more to do with the economic climate and the fact that the refugees did not have New Zealand qualifications and therefore could not sell themselves like New Zealanders can.

[Kaine Henderson, "Migrant struggles to find work", East & Bays Courier, Friday, August 4, 2000, p 4]

1 August 2000 In its first annual report under Schedule 3C of the Immigration Act 1987, the Refugee Status Appeals Authority has reported that in the year to 30 June 2000 it received 574 appeals (578 in 1998/1999).  The Authority scheduled 753 hearings, either by way of interview or on the papers.  It fully heard 494 appeals and issued decisions on 517.  (In 1998/1999, 459 appeals were heard and 405 decided).  Withdrawn or out of time appeals were 70 (25).  There are 317 appeals in process; of those, 221 are still to be heard.  The balance are awaiting finalisation or the publication of a decision.  On average, decisions are published within two or three months from the date the hearing is concluded.  Since the Authority was established in 1991, it has finalised 4,483 decisions.  Of those, 739 have been granted refugee status, with the balance being declined or withdrawn.  In the year to 30 June 2000, 74 appeals were allowed and 443 declined.

[Refugee Status Appeals Authority Annual Report to 30 June 2000]

28 July 2000 The Minister of Immigration has released a discussion document on options setting enforceable standards for immigration consultants.  Among the proposals are simple registration, certification by a statutory body with a disciplinary process, and a licensing regime with entry exams.  At present, anyone can set up as an immigration consultant.  The only specific regulation was introduced by the Immigration Amendment Act 1999 which now provides a maximum fine of $5,000 or three months imprisonment for anyone who wilfully misleads or acts negligently or unprofessionally, including charging excessively, in assisting an immigration application.  The Association for Migration and Investment represents more than 90 consultants, but does not have a unified position on regulation.  A board member and spokesman, Bill Milnes, is reported as saying that there had been little response to the Association's call for member opinions.  A police officer from the Auckland Asian crime unit who investigated dubious immigration dealings last year is reported as saying that he had no doubt that consultants should be regulated.  He favoured a licensing system, including background checks on criminal records and character.  But he said the Immigration Service also had to improve its checks on fake documents and whether marriages were genuine.

[Warren Gamble, "Sharks lie in wait for the unwary", NZ Herald, Friday, July 28, 2000, p A13]
27 July 2000 A man who faced forty eight bribery charges in an alleged cash-for-passports case will not now stand trial because of poor health.  The prosecution claims that foreign nationals paid up to $35,000 each for a total of forty eight passports between April and October 1999.  However Field DCJ has ruled in the Auckland District Court that the man is unfit to stand trial and there will be a stay of proceedings.  This followed medical evidence that the man was disabled by a stroke in December 1999.

["Illness stops bribery trial" NZ Herald, Thursday, July 27, 2000, p A12]

25 July 2000 An Auckland immigration officer who accepted approximately $100,000 of bribes to grant residence permits has been sentenced to two years six months imprisonment following a guilty plea to seventeen charges of corruptly accepting bribes while employed by the New Zealand Immigration Service.

["Jail for bribes" NZ Herald, Tuesday, July 25, 2000, p A5]

20 July 2000 A group of refugee claimants jailed during the security crack down for the Apec summit last year hope to take their case to the Privy Council.

[Warren Gamble, "Refugees appealing" NZ Herald, Thursday, July 20, 2000, p A4]

15 July 2000 A group of 132 Burmese resettlement refugees have arrived in New Zealand from the Maneeloy camp near Bangkok.  The group are from the majority Burman and minority Karen and Mon ethnic groups and represent the first intake of refugees under New Zealand's annual quota of 750.  A further 28 resettlement refugees are expected in September 2000.  The director of the Refugee and Migrant Service, Peter Cotton is reported as saying that per head of population, New Zealand's intake of resettlement refugees is greater than that of Australia.

[Graham Reid, "Leaving the fear behind" Weekend Herald, July 15, 2000, p A6]

13 July 2000 Following on from the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal on 11 July 2000, seven of the hunger strikers who were refused refugee status after appealing to the Refugee Status Appeals Authority have failed to present themselves to the Immigration Service for removal.  In another two cases where a decision on refugee status has yet to be made, the men have failed to present themselves for detention in the Mangere refugee centre.  The lawyers representing the men argue that their clients should not be removed from New Zealand while a decision is made whether to appeal to the Privy Council against the decision of the Court of Appeal.  It is reported that of the original group, seven have been declined refugee status, four granted refugee status while two decisions are pending.

[Warren Gamble, "Asylum-seekers defy order to go" NZ Herald, Thursday, July 13, 2000, p A10]

11 July 2000 The Court of Appeal has reversed a decision of the High Court [E v Attorney-General [2000] NZAR 354, Fisher J] which had ordered the New Zealand Immigration Service to reconsider temporary permit applications by a group of refugee claimants detained in Mt Eden Prison who had mounted a hunger strike to protest at their detention in custody.  The High Court order required that the applications be reconsidered "on the basis that refugee claimants are to be granted temporary permits in the absence of special factors making detention necessary".  In allowing the appeal by the NZIS and setting aside the order made by the High Court, the majority (Richardson P, Gault, Henry & Keith JJ) held that the presumptive approach was not supported by the Immigration Act 1987.  In addition the NZIS Operational Manual did not require it and nor did the Refugee Convention, even when read with the UNHCR Guidelines on Detention.  The majority judgment recognized, however, that the result of the appeal would have no practical effect for the group as they had already been released from custody under ss 128 and 128A of the Immigration Act 1987.  The appeal had been pursued by the Crown because of a perceived concern as to the consequences of the High Court ruling as to the legal basis upon which applications for refugee status were to be considered.  In a vigorous dissenting judgment, Thomas J took issue with the majority judgement and in particular what he desribed as (a) the unacceptably minimalist approach adopted to the resolution of the appeal; (b) the extreme breath of the discretion invested in the Immigration Service; (c) the narrow interpretation placed on the Immigration Act 1987 and Government policy published pursuant to the Act; (d) the limited perception of the international obligations to which the Act is designed to give effect; and (e) the ultimate reliance placed on an "operational instruction" which in his view had no statutory basis and which was contrary to international obligations.

[Attorney-General v E (CA282/99, 11 July 2000) Richardson P, Gault, Henry & Keith JJ; Thomas J dissenting]

6 July 2000 In Horvath v Secretary of State for the Home Department the House of Lords has held (Lords Hope, Browne-Wilkinson and Woodborough) that in the context of an allegation of persecution by non-state agents, the word "persecution" implies a failure by the state to make protection available against the ill-treatment or violence which the person suffers at the hands of persecutors.  It follows that in such cases the applicant for refugee status must show that the state is unable or unwilling to provide protection.  Commentators say that the judgment is likely to lead to the removal from Britain of hundreds of Roma or Gypsy asylum seekers.

[Horvath v Secretary of State for the Home Department (6 July 2000); Alan Travis & Nick Hopkins, "Law lords reject Roma's test case for asylum" Guardian Weekly, July 13, 2000, p 10]

27 June 2000 A former Auckland immigration officer yesterday pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court to 17 charges of corruptly accepting bribes while employed by the New Zealand Immigration Service.  He will be sentenced next month.  It is reported that he was responsible for processing about 40 permanent residence applications between November 1995 and July 1997 where falsified offers of employment were used.  It is said that he accepted more than $100,000 in bribes from an Auckland immigration consultant representing Korean nationals.  That consultant received an 18 month suspended sentence last year for his involvement and will stand trial next month on other charges involving a Department of Internal Affairs official.

["Fake jobs at core of bribes", NZ Herald, Tuesday, June 27, 2000, p A5]

26 June 2000 Supporters of the man from Tajikistan currently held in Mt Eden prison are reported to have made a final plea to the Government yesterday, saying that the Tajik authorities had prolonged his ordeal through incompetence or sheer lack of interest.  His lawyer is reported as saying that last December a Tajik had official certified that the man is a citizen of Tajikistan, but in April 2000 the Immigration Service said the Tajik authorities had no knowledge of the man.  The Tajik authorities have now agreed to issue travel documents.

[Warren Gamble, "End near in refugee bid", NZ Herald, Monday, June 26, 2000, p A5]

26 June 2000 The New Zealand Customs Service has defended its recent refugee exercise, saying it is just a matter of time before New Zealand's borders are breached by illegal boatpeople.  The acting chief executive and Controller of Customs, Mr Robin Dare, is reported as saying that New Zealand has only to see the threats posed by unlawful breaches of Australia's borders.  He makes no apology for the extent or the structure of the exercise and states that he and his staff are determined that their response capability will be as effective as possible when a real incident occurs.  He added that it was expected that mistakes would be made but it was through them that they would learn how to improve their own performance, their co-operation with other agencies at national and local level, and so be better prepared to protect the New Zealand community.  He was sincerely sorry for the inconvenience to Northland Health, which had sent his department a bill for $8,300.  But he would not condemn his staff as he believed implicitly in the strategic implications of the operation and its security importance.

[Angela Gregory, "No apologies over boatpeople scare", NZ Herald, Monday, June 26, 2000, p A3]

22 June 2000  The Refugee Status Appeals Authority has published a decision emphasising that because of the nature and intensity of the internal protection alternative test as formulated in Refugee Appeal No. 71684/99 (29 October 1999), there is no protection purpose for a "reasonableness" inquiry.  The Authority also confirmed that a person claiming refugee status has the burden of establishing the elements of the claim and this extends to the internal protection alternative issue.  The full text of the decision can be accessed from the Case Search page of this web site.

[Refugee Appeal No. 71729/99 (22 June 2000)]

21 June 2000 The Customs exercise which focussed on a group of fictitious boatpeople has been criticised from a number of quarters.  The president of the Refugee Council of New Zealand, Dr Rasalingam, is reported as saying that the immigration scare fueled public paranoia about refugees, adding fears that they would arrive full of diseases.  It placed refugees in a bad light and amounted to scaremongering.  An organiser for the Public Service Association is reported as saying that the unethical "real" exercise could not be condoned as employers should not withhold important information from staff.  The Minister of Customs, Phillida Bunkle, has apologised to Northland Health for the inconvenience to patients.  The Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, is reported as saying that he had received many complaints from angry Far North constituents and said the exercise was a cruel hoax and he hoped Northlanders would not be used as guinea pigs again.

[Angela Gregory, "Ethics of exercise questioned", NZ Herald, Wednesday, June 21, 2000, p A13]

20 June 2000 Two former immigration consultants have been committed to stand trial in the Auckland District Court on charges of fraud and bribery arising from a police investigation into the sale of 48 false New Zealand passports to mostly Asian immigrants.  The former team leader of the Internal Affairs Auckland Passport Office recently received a two and a half year sentence for issuing the passports.  It is reported that the alleged kingpin of the scheme has suffered a stroke which may impair his ability to mount a defence.  A hearing will be conducted in the Auckland District Court to decide whether he is mentally and physically able to defend charges of corruption, conspiracy and fraud.

["Alleged passport scam kingpin may miss trial" NZ Herald, Tuesday, June 20, 2000,
p A8]

17 June 2000  A training exercise designed to test the ability of Government agencies to cope with the arrival of an ocean trawler full of Chinese refugees produced a communication breakdown which lead to Kaitaia Hospital sending patients home early to make way for the fictitious boatpeople.  The chief of Northland Health is reported as saying that he was angry that he had not been forewarned about the "farcical" exercise.  They had been told a boat load of Chinese refugees was floating down the island and Customs had called a major alert, even including the SAS.  He estimated that Northland Health would charge Customs about $10,000 to cover the staffing costs incurred by the false scare.  It is reported that some of the nearly 50 staff involved from a number of Government agencies, including frontline Customs officers, had been told the situation was real in order to test their ability to cope.  It seems the main action was expected at Kawau Island and Hauraki Gulf, where a rendezvous ferry was sent to pick up the fictitious refugees at sea.  The plans apparently backfired when Customs alerted unsuspecting Northland Health officials to stand by for a possible influx of up to 60 refugees.  The next day, in response, Kaitaia Hospital discharged the eight patients and put extra staff on duty.  Customs Minister, Phillida Bunkle, and Health Minister, Annette King, are reportedly unhappy about the inconvenience to patients and are demanding to know how communications broke down so badly.

[Angela Gregory, "Customs fiasco empties hospital" NZ Herald, Saturday, June 17, 2000, front page]

16 June 2000  Amnesty International claims that New Zealand has jailed asylum seekers too often and should have done so only under extreme circumstances.  Examples cited including 16 South Asian men detained in Mt Eden prison who were harassed by other prisoners and a man from Tajikistan who has been held in Mt Eden prison for six months.  However, it is reported that the Government has disputed the findings, saying that the only asylum-seekers jailed were those posing a serious security risk.  The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel, is reported as saying that she was surprised of the allegations that the South Asian men had been mistreated.  As to the man from Tajikistan, he was classed as an illegal immigrant because his refugee application had been declined.  She said that allegations that asylum-seekers could be detained indefinitely were wrong.  The Immigration Service had to get the approval of a District Court Judge every week to keep the men in jail.  Up to 1300 people were expected to apply for refugee status in 2000 and only two or three per cent would fail to get permits.  The Executive Secretary of the Auckland Refugee Centre is reported as saying that a doctor had found the man from Tajikistan to have become very disturbed psychologically and was no longer fit to travel.

[Scott MacLeod and NZPA, "Amnesty hits NZ human rights record" NZ Herald, Friday, June 16, 2000,  p A15]

2 June 2000  The Refugee Status Appeals Authority has published a decision in which it is found that it has no jurisdiction to rehear an appeal after a full hearing and decision.  The full text of the decision can be accessed from the Case Search page of this website.

[Refugee Appeal No. 71864/00 (2 June 2000)]

27 May 2000 Twelve months after the first of the 410 Kosovar refugees arrived in New Zealand, help is still required in acquiring English language skills and in finding employment.  The Government's education-funding body, Skill New Zealand is providing $500,000 for English as a second language courses for 136 of the Kosovars for the year to June.  It will invest slightly less than that sum (for 100 places in English classes) in the next financial year.  The money has paid and will pay for eighteen to twenty four-week beginners and workplace English courses.  Jobs, however, do not necessarily follow.  Although many of the Kosovar refugees and migrants have had trades and professions in their homeland, only three or four have so far found jobs in New Zealand.  This echoes research done by the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust on Sri Lankan migrants to New Zealand.  It found that seventy-five percent were in professional jobs prior to migration, that ninety-six percent had a tertiary qualification and that over ninety-two percent were fluent or very fluent in English.  Yet thirty-two percent were unemployed, and only about sixty percent remained in the same professions they were qualified in and more than half were employed in less senior positions.  Forty-seven percent felt they had faced discrimination while trying to find work.  The barriers identified by the EEO Trust were the lack of New Zealand experience of applicants, a lack of understanding by local employers about job applicants from other countries, a lack of New Zealand qualifications, non-recognition of overseas qualifications and bias from employers.  A spokesperson for the Refugee and Migrant Service, Sandy O'Brien, is reported as saying that the critical step in the resettlement process is obtaining employment.  If jobs are not available, many may return to Kosovo.  In this regard the Government announced last week its assisted passage home will end in June 2001.  About sixty-three Kosovar refugees have already returned to Kosovo.  The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel is reported as saying that the previous Government spent too many years worrying about the quantity of refugees and migrants entering New Zealand and not enough time concerning itself with the quality of settlement.  She says that a recent Non-Government Agency's report on refugee resettlement policy has provided a sharply focused view.  Among its many recommendations on gaining employment for refugees and other issues, the report suggests that a nationwide campaign to educate and help change employer attitudes must be part of any plan.

It is also reported that a year after they left Kosovo for safety in New Zealand, some Kosovo preschoolers are still so traumatised they are scared of men in uniform.  Some twenty seven such children are attending a special playgroup which began in late March.  But the funding will end next month.  The scheme is run in partnership by the Special Education Services, the Refugee and Migrant Service, Selwyn College and the Kohimarama Presbyterian Church.  The playgroup enables specialists to work closely with the children and their families to identify any problems stemming from the childrens' traumatic experiences during the conflict.

[Greg Dixon, "Worlds apart" Weekend Herald, May 27, 2000, p I2; Greg Dixon, "Memories haunt Kosovar kids" Weekend Herald, May 27, 2000, p A5]

24 May 2000  An Algerian man detained in Mt Eden Prison for more than two months has been freed after gaining refugee status.

["Refugee status", NZ Herald, Wednesday, May 24, 2000, p A3]

17 May 2000  The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel has announced that from September 2000 holders of a returning resident's visa will no longer be able to travel overseas indefinitely then have automatic re-entry to New Zealand.  This announcement rescinds a policy decision made by the previous government in October 1999.

[NZPA, "Migrants' travel curbed", NZ Herald, Wednesday, May 17, 2000, p A4]

17 May 2000  A spokesman for the New Zealand Immigration Service is reported as saying that the detention of an Algerian refugee claimant in Mt Eden Prison for an initial 28 day period had been approved by a District Court Judge and that the District Court had since renewed the warrant every week.  The spokesman is also reported as saying that the man entered New Zealand a year ago on a false Italian passport and stayed for two weeks before flying to Sydney.  The Australian authorities spotted the fake passport and jailed the man while he sought refugee status.  His application was refused and he was then sent back to New Zealand.  The man had told immigration officials in New Zealand that he had destroyed his Algerian passport in Malaysia and bought a false one for $5,000.  His claim to refugee status has now been declined three times in New Zealand and he has appealed to the Refugee Status Appeals Authority.

[Scott MacLeod, "Department defends refugee's jailing", NZ Herald, Wednesday, May 17, 2000, p A6]

16 May 2000  A refugee claimant from Algeria has been detained at Mt Eden Prison for the past two months waiting for a decision on his refugee application.  It is reported that he arrived in New Zealand after being deported from Australia, where he spent six months in prison in a similar situation.  His lawyer is reported as saying that the man would claim damages for unlawful imprisonment if he was granted refugee status.  Green MP Keith Locke, who has visited the Algerian man in prison, has criticized the Immigration Service for continuing to imprison asylum seekers and says that four other refugee claimants are presently being held in Mt Eden Prison.  Two of the men are from Bahrain, one from Pakistan and one from Tajikistan.

[Patrick Gower, "Lawyer demands release of jailed asylum seeker", NZ Herald, Tuesday, May 16, 2000, p  ;Keith Locke, "Locke criticizes Immigration Service detentions", Media Statement, Monday, May 15, 2000]

16 May 2000 The Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs is reported as saying that it will review why a Somali microbiologist was denied at Changi Airport in Singapore permission to board an aircraft travelling to New Zealand.  Qantas Airways is reported as saying that the case had nothing to do with the airline as the officer at the centre of the incident was not employed by Qantas, though at the time he may have been based in the Singapore office of the airline.  He had in fact been employed by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs as an airport liaison officer.

["Scientist's blue-suit saga to be reviewed", NZ Herald, Tuesday, May 16, 2000, p ]

15 May 2000  It has been reported that a Somali microbiologist granted a New Zealand residence visa was prevented from travelling to New Zealand when he was refused permission to board his connecting flight at Changi Airport in Singapore.  An Australian official, in a memo to the immigration officer at the New Zealand High Commission in Singapore, explained that he had prevented the man from boarding an Air New Zealand flight because the man did not have the appearance of someone with tertiary qualifications.  The Australian official recorded that the man's suit was sky blue, ill-fitting, with the brand label still stitched to the outside of the suit sleeve and the man was wearing yellow socks.  When the man was reinterviewed on the following day, he had removed his tie and appeared to be unable to do it back up.  As the official was of the view that the passport was illegal and likely to have been forged, he concluded that the residence visa had been mistakenly issued.  The microbiologist was then given a letter, signed by a New Zealand immigration official, which said that his passport and visa were no longer valid and the New Zealand Immigration Service had authorized the Australian official to cancel the residence visa.  The Australian official then tore out of the man's passport the page containing the visa.  The man was then placed in custody and deported to Yemen where he had been working.  The man successfully reapplied for a New Zealand residence visa and sixteen months later arrived in New Zealand with his wife and two children.  He subsequently sued the Minister of Immigration and the Attorney-General but reached a confidential out of court settlement last year.  He also received an apology from the New Zealand Immigration Service.

[Naomi Larkin & Tony Stickley, "Bright clothes not scientist banned from entering NZ", NZ Herald, Monday, May 15, 2000, p A3]

12 May 2000  A false rumour is circulating in Zimbabwe that New Zealand is offering free flights out of the country.  The rumour has caused a deluge of enquiries to the New Zealand High Commission in Harare.  The Acting High Commissioner, Gerald McGhie is reported as saying that up to 400 enquiries a day are being fielded from Zimbabweans wanting to emigrate.  Usually three or four calls a week are received.  The High Commission has employed an extra staff member to help with the flood of letters, phone calls and people arriving at the building.  The Zimbabwe media has been informed that the rumour is false and that New Zealand's position on immigration is that Zimbabweans can come to New Zealand temporarily without visas and stay for three months, with the option of extending this another six months.  Other waivers are available to people with family in New Zealand.

[Patrick Gower, "Flight rumour swamps staff", NZ Herald, Friday, May 12, 2000, p A3]

10 May 2000  The Refugee and Migrant Service has made an urgent plea for beds and other furniture needed for 14 refugee families due to arrive in New Zealand later this month.  The families are from Somalia and other countries.  Most in need are good quality beds and other household items.

["Refugees need beds and furniture", NZ Herald, Wednesday, May 10, 2000, p A6]

2 May 2000  The man from Tajikistan currently held in Mt Eden Prison has failed to persuade the High Court at Auckland that he is being held unlawfully.  In a judgment delivered on 1 May 2000, Salmon J declined an application by the man for release from custody.

[“Deportee's freedom bid in vain”, NZ Herald, Tuesday, May 2, 2000, p A8]

22 April 2000  The government has moved to speed entry for Zimbabweans.  The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel is reported as saying that without changing Government policy, it was possible to allow people entry on a visitors permit and for them to later apply for a residence permit.  Normally applications must be made from outside New Zealand.

[Josie Clarke, “Wheelchair farmer defies guns”, Weekend Herald, April 22-23, 2000, p A3]

20 April 2000 Following the occupation of land owned by white farmers and the denunciation of white farmers by President Robert Mugabe as "enemies of Zimbabwe" for opposing his plan to seize their land without paying compensation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Phil Goff is reported as saying that the government would consider refugee applications from people "genuinely subject to oppression and threats to their lives, whether they be white or black".  In the past five years, 244 Zimbabweans have been granted residence in New Zealand.

[Josie Clarke, “Mugabe's terror reaches NZ”, NZ Herald, Thursday, April 20, 2000]

19 April 2000 The Refugee Status Appeals Authority has dismissed an appeal by a Liberian man who admitted taking part in atrocities including murder and cannibalism.  The Authority found that the acts committed by the man were so grave that they constituted war crimes and/or crimes against humanity.  The man is presently in custody in Mt Eden Prison awaiting removal from New Zealand.

[Rebecca Walsh, “Blood-drinking soldier told he must leave NZ”, NZ Herald, Wednesday, April 19, 2000, p A2]

19 April 2000 Two Chinese Indonesians have explained why they left Indonesia following the May 1998 riots.

[Josie Clarke, “Men fear death if deported”, NZ Herald, Wednesday, April 19, 2000, p A9]

17 April 2000  At celebrations held at the Nanaksar Sikh Temple in Manurewa to mark the 301st Anniversary of the founding of the Sikh religion, an international Sikh leader has urged the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, to give special consideration to Sikhs fleeing their homeland.

[Scott MacLeod, "Sikhs plead for refugee help", NZ Herald, Monday, April 17, 2000, p A8]

15 April 2000  The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel, has promised to look into the case of hundreds of Chinese Indonesians seeking refugee status in New Zealand and has asked the New Zealand Immigration Service for a report on the group.  It is reported that the Immigration Service has so far processed 80 of the refugee applications but has declined them all on the grounds that Indonesia is safe enough for them to return.  An Immigration Service spokesman is reported as saying that the Service had received about 550 applications from Indonesians applying for refugee status between May and November 1998.  Many of them would have been Chinese.  Apart from the 80 declined so far, another 25 left New Zealand before their applications were heard, 19 withdrew and 12 did not show up for interviews.

[Josie Clarke, "Refugee-seekers plead for Govt to reconsider cases", Weekend Herald, April 15-16, 2000, p A11]

14 April 2000  Approximately 150 Chinese Indonesians have met in order to begin a public campaign to stay in New Zealand. They claim that they will be persecuted if they return to Indonesia.  Most arrived in New Zealand in 1998 after the May riots.

[Josie Clarke, "Chinese battle to stay as refugees", NZ Herald, Friday, April 14, 2000, p A3]

13 April 2000 In Chen Shi Hai v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs the High Court of Australia has considered the question whether children born outside family planning guidelines in China (known as "black children") are a particular social group and has also examined the issue of causation.

[Chen Shi Hai v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (2000) 170 ALR 553 (HCA)]

7 April 2000  In the High Court at Wellington Gendall J has dismissed an application to review a decision of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority refusing refugee status to a citizen of Azerbaijan.  The Authority had found that there was no truth to the claim to refugee status.  The High Court held that it was satisfied that no error of law had been committed by the Authority in reaching its decision.

[Naremanov v Refugee Status Appeals Authority [High Court, Wellington, CP 354/98, 7 April 2000, Gendall J]

28 March 2000  The Associate Foreign Affairs Minister, Matt Robson is reported as saying that New Zealand is likely to keep international war criminals in its prisons if asked to do so by the United Nations.  He was to meet the Vice-President of the International Court of Justice yesterday to discuss the possibility.

["NZ jails may get war criminals", NZ Herald, Tuesday, March 28, 2000, p A7]

24 March 2000  In 1999 Air New Zealand was fined more than $1 million for taking illegal passengers to Australia.  An Australian Institute of Criminology report on Australia's response to people-smuggling has detailed fines that cost 50 airlines a total of $9.2 million of which total Qantas was levied $1.67 million.

["Air NZ fined", NZ Herald, Friday, March 24, 2000, p A7]

24 March 2000  The refugee hostel, Grove Hostel in Sandringham run by the Auckland Refugee Council has been given a $45,000 government grant.  The 17 bed hostel would otherwise have closed notwithstanding that it has housed 450 people seeking refugee status in New Zealand since it opened in March 1997.

["Govt grant will keep hostel open", NZ Herald, Friday, March 24, 2000, p A6]

23 March 2000  The man whom the Immigration Service attempted to deport to Tajikistan is still held in Mt Eden prison.  It is claimed by the Act welfare spokeswoman to be costing the taxpayer nearly $1,000 a week to hold him there.  It is reported that his new application for refugee status has been declined and an appeal lodged to the Refugee Status Appeals Authority.  The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel is reported as saying that the government had obtained travel documents from Tajikistan for the man but these had been retained by Russian authorities when he arrived in that country from New Zealand in transit to Tajikistan.  The Minister says that she is confident that further documentation will be obtained in due course.

["Price of prison", NZ Herald, Thursday, March 23, 2000, p A10]

21 March 2000  Three people facing fraud charges related to alleged alien smuggling have appeared in the Waitakere District Court.  They have been released on bail and will appear in court next month.

["Syndicate charges", NZ Herald, Tuesday, March 21, 2000, p A7]

18 March 2000  In the High Court Auckland Nicholson J has declined an application for orders gagging the media from reporting the case brought by the police against an Auckland man and woman accused of fraud charges following a police investigation into an alleged syndicate engaged in alien smuggling.

["Pair arrested in human cargo case lose media gagging bid", Weekend Herald, March 18-19, 2000, p A3]

15 March 2000  The officer in charge of the investigation into an alleged alien smuggling ring is reported as saying that he has come across no evidence that the group had bribed New Zealand officials into helping them with their operation, but inquiries were continuing.  The officer is also reported as saying that the police were actively trying to dismantle the organization and end its operations permanently.  However, reaching members at the group's base in Indonesia might prove difficult as the New Zealand police had no jurisdiction there and Indonesian officials had other priorities and probably would not be too worried about the New Zealand investigation.  For that reason the officer said that the police were taking the unusual step of getting syndicate members in New Zealand to help dismantle the operation.  A spokesman for Philip Ruddock, the Australian Minister of Immigration, is reported as saying that an investigation is now underway in Australia focussing on a number of Australian citizens and residents believed to have links to the New Zealand syndicate.

[Darrel Mager, "Police widen hunt for human cargo traders", NZ Herald, Wednesday, March 15, 2000, p A3]

14 March 2000  In a series of early morning raids conducted yesterday, the police arrested three people following an investigation into alleged alien smuggling spanning a five year period and involving more than 1,000 illegal migrants.  It is reported that detectives became aware of the group three months ago.  It is alleged that many refugees and immigrants were forced into crime to pay debts for false travel documents.  A New Zealand Immigration Service spokesman is reported as saying that the Service would review the status of anyone suspected of using false documents.

[Darrel Mager & John Andrews, "Human cargo officials 'bribed'", NZ Herald, Tuesday, March 14, 2000, front page]

10 March 2000  Members of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges (IARLJ) in New Zealand and Australia met at Auckland to formally set up an Australia-New Zealand Regional Chapter of the IARLJ.

9 March 2000  Erika Feller, Director of the Department of International Protection with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees spoke at an evening seminar in Auckland (held under the auspices of the International Law Association (New Zealand Branch)) on the topic "Refugee Protection: An Unwelcome Responsibility?".  Ms Feller has had 14 years of international experience as a diplomat with the Australian Foreign Service, serving both in Canberra and abroad (Berlin, Rome and Geneva) before taking up her first assignment with the UNHCR some 13 years ago as senior legal adviser in the Office of the Director, Division of Refugee Law and Doctrine.  She is now the Director of this division, now renamed the Department of International Protection.  The seminar covered global challenges in refugee protection, the quality of asylum, the legal issues involved and the need to reinvigorate the current refugee regime.

4 March 2000  A former employee of the Department of Internal Affairs has been sentenced to imprisonment for two and a half years after issuing 48 false New Zealand passports to mostly Asian immigrants.  The man, the former team leader of the passport office in Auckland, admitted 48 charges of corruption. The Court was told that he received $275,000 in six months and that charges were pending against other persons involved in the scheme.

[Jason Collie, "Passport official sold fakes to migrants", Weekend Herald, March 4-5, 2000, p A3]

March 2000  The contrast between the treatment accorded to mandated refugees brought to New Zealand for resettlement and those arriving in New Zealand and spontaneously applying for refugee status is examined by a journalist.

[Claire Naden, "The Chosen", Metro, March 2000, p 80]

24 February 2000  A three month pilot project to care for people who have experienced torture and trauma has opened in Auckland.  The centre has been set up by the Auckland Refugee Council and will be staffed by volunteers, including a public health nurse, doctor, psychologist and social worker.  The data collected will be presented to the Government and other agencies such as the Lottery Grants Board in the hope of securing funding to continue the initiative.  Similar clinics may be set up in Wellington, Hamilton and Christchurch.  A spokesman for the Refugee Council, Dr Rasalingam is reported as saying that it is vital that asylum seekers receive help as soon as they arrive in New Zealand.  Many had experienced extreme trauma but felt too intimidated by the health system to seek treatment.  Common health problems were high blood pressure, gastric ulcers and diabetes.

[Francesca Mold, "Health checks for war-weary", NZ Herald, February 24, 2000 p A12]

22 February 2000  In a reserved judgment delivered today in the High Court at Auckland, Anderson J has set aside a decision of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority (RSAA).  The RSAA had declined refugee status on the grounds that crucial ingredients of the claim were false.  However, Anderson J found that some of the findings made by the Authority were insupportable and, in addition, while the Authority had rejected aspects of the claim, it had failed to consider whether the remaining evidence was sufficient to bring the claimant within the terms of the Convention.  The decision is headnoted in the New Zealand High Court cases on the Case Search page of this website.

[K v Refugee Status Appeals Authority (High Court, Auckland, M 1586-SW99, 22 February 2000, Anderson J)]

27 January 2000  In a report to the new Minister of Immigration, the Refugee and Migrant Service has urged the government to abandoned the decision of the previous administration to screen immigrants for HIV and Aids.  It says that instead an education programme for refugee communities should be developed.  It also warned that a new welfare and crime "underclass" will develop unless the government puts more money into resettling refugees.  The report says that refugee agencies need more resources so that they can provide furnished homes for refugees and said that a unit should be set up to help refugee families reunite in New Zealand and a special humanitarian programme started to allow more flexibility over the documentation of refugees.  It is said that it could take up to five years to settle a refugee into independent living, during which time assistance in learning English, finding work and reuniting families would be needed.

[NZPA, "Refugee 'crime class' warning", NZ Herald, January 27, 2000 p A9]

26 January 2000  The Refugee Status Appeals Authority has published a Minute emphasizing that adjournments should not be granted because counsel instructed has other commitments.  The Authority has also held that while any person is entitled to the counsel of his or her choice, that "entitlement" is subject to counsel being available.  If the counsel of first choice is not available, another counsel must be instructed, unless there are exceptional circumstances.  In so holding, the Authority has applied existing principles of law applicable in the High Court, the District Court and before other tribunals.  The full text of the decision can be accessed from the Case Search page of this web site.

[Refugee Appeal No. 71735/99 (25 January 2000)]

26 January 2000 The Minister of Immigration is reported as saying that she will soon receive an official paper on the issue of registering immigration consultants and will begin consultation with the industry.  She had been made aware of several dodgy and unprofessional practices from consultants and lawyers dealing with immigrants, particularly in Auckland.  She will be looking at the whole question of regulation.  The Minister is also reported as saying that she will be lodging a complaint with the Auckland District Law Society this week about a South Auckland firm with links to a scheme selling Maori citizenship.  She says that a named individual of Manukau Legal Services appeared to have breached the Law Practitioners Act 1982 by purporting to offer legal advice when he was not qualified as a solicitor.

[Warren Gamble, "Action soon on rip-offs of would-be immigrants", NZ Herald, Wednesday, January 26, 2000, p A2]

22 January 2000  The Ministry of Health is concerned that there were 452 reported cases of tuberculosis in New Zealand in 1999, a 19 year high and well up on the 386 cases in 1998.  The number of cases among immigrants and visitors rose sharply in the 1990s, but the Ministry believes the increase last year is due largely to big outbreaks in South Auckland and Northland.  It is now looking at targeting long-stay visitors and students from the world's tuberculosis hot-spots in a bid to reduce New Zealand's rising rate of the disease.  Visitors and students from any country now have to undergo a tuberculosis test if they intend to stay for two years or more.  If they come for a shorter time, they must take the test when they apply for an extension.  Both the Immigration Service and the Ministry are considering shortening the two year period and applying it only to high-risk countries.

[Martin Johnston, "Keeping tabs on a killer", Weekend Herald, January 22-23, 2000, p A17]

20 January 2000  A man from Tajikistan deported from New Zealand but expelled back to New Zealand by Russian officials has lodged a second application for refugee status.  He is currently being detained in custody at Mt Eden Prison.  His lawyer is reported as saying an attempt will be made to have the man declared a stateless person.

["Fresh bid for refuge by jailed wanderer", NZ Herald, Thursday, January 20, 2000
p A7]

18 January 2000 The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that the Convention against Torture does not prevent a State from expelling those who pose a security risk, even where there are serious reasons for believing that the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture.  The Court relied on Article 16(2) of the Convention against Torture which provides that the provisions of the Convention are without prejudice to the provisions of any other international instruments which relate to extradition or expulsion.  The Court held that as Articles 32 and 33 of the Refugee Convention permit the expulsion or return of a refugee on the grounds of national security, the Convention against Torture would not be breached by the return of the individual concerned (a Tamil and supporter of the LTTE) to Sri Lanka.

[Suresh v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (2000) 183 DLR (4th) 629 (FC:CA)]

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