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October 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The latest figures revealed by New Zealand’s Immigration Department sees 51 Fiji nationals being deported back to the country.

And this according to the statistics is the fourth highest as fellow Pacific Island nation, Samoa tops the list with 80 deportation cases.

According to a New Zealand Herald report,  the Immigration Department deported a total of five hundred and fifty overstayers and convicted criminals up till August 31 this year.

And most people deported were sent to Samoa, India, China, Fiji and Tonga.

A person can be deported from New Zealand for three reasons. Some are criminals, others have overstayed their visa limit while a smaller number are subject to a residence deportation.

The top nationalities deported so far with figures by the NZ Immigration department are Samoa 80, India 64, China 56, Fiji 51, Tonga 46, Malaysia 36, Thailand 27, Britain 26, Sri Lanka 16 and Indonesia 15.

In total, 664 people were deported last year from NZ and again Samoa was the leading country for deportations, as reported by The New Zealand Herald.

Meanwhile, a change to the NZ Immigration Act in 2010 led to the number of deportations jumping by more than 2000 per cent.

The Immigration Act 1987 states that a deportation occurs when someone holding a New Zealand residence permit is convicted of an offence. Between 2007 and November 2010 just 118 people were forced out of the country.

However, the act was amended so deportation describes "all processes for requiring a foreign national who has no right to remain in New Zealand to leave".

Since the change, the majority of deportations have been overstayers. But more than 500 people have been deported for crime-related reasons.

By Indrani Krishna

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