Tongans remain top overstayers, despite fall in overall figures

Tongans remain the top overstayers in New Zealand, despite a marked drop in the number of Tongans remaining here illegally.

The  number of Tongan and Samoan overstayers has dropped significantly according to a new report.

Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley told the New Zealand Herald there were more than  6000 fewer overstayers from these two countries since 2000.

The drop is part of a fall from about 20,000 overstayers a decade ago to 10,894.

The fallen in the number of Tongan and Samoan overstayers accounted for 63 per cent of the drop, Professor Spoonley said.

Overstayer numbers had nearly halved from around 20,000 a decade ago to 10,894.

Legal migration from Samoa and Tonga was about 3000 per year.

The Recognised Employer Scheme had provided a legal employment option, especially for Tongans.

Immigration New Zealand said most of the overstayers were previously on a visitor visa (6735), followed by work visas (1981) and student visas (1523).

During the run-up to last month’s national election the Maori Party had an amnesty for overstayers as one of the plans of its election platform.

As Kaniva News reported at the time, Maori Party candidate Pakilau o Aotearoa Manase, whose parents were Tongan overstayers, described himself  as “a son of the dawn raids.”

Last year Immigration New Zealand reported that the number of overstayers had fallen from 20,657 in 2000 to 10,848.

However, the number of Chinese overstayers had risen by 119 percent since 2000, according to last year’s report.

The number of overstayers from India had also  not fallen.

The main points

  • Tongans remain the top overstayers in New Zealand, despite a marked drop in the number of Tongans remaining here illegally.
  • The number of Tongan and Samoan overstayers has dropped significantly according to a new report.
  • The New Zealand Herald reported that there were more than  6000 fewer overstayers from these two countries since 2000.
  • Legal migration from Samoa and Tonga was about 3000 per year.

For more information 

Immigration: Overstayer numbers have nearly halved from ten years ago

Number of overstayers plummets

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