Immigration reveals lengths travellers go to

The lengths some people went to in trying to use the Rugby World Cup as a way to sneak into New Zealand have been revealed.

Immigration New Zealand's 2011/12 report has been released and shares the story of a man trying to board a flight to Auckland from Hong Kong, via Johannesburg.

He claimed he was coming here to watch the Rugby World Cup, and did have tickets for games - however one had already been played and the other was in Wellington, when he said he was only travelling to Auckland.

Despite wearing a Springboks jersey, he had no idea South Africa was playing on the following Saturday and appeared to have little or no knowledge of rugby.

The man was eventually discovered to be a Ghanaian national who had obtained a South African passport fraudulently.

Another man, also wearing Springboks supporters' gear, had tickets to long sold out games which appeared to be fake.

He claimed he had some Ethiopian friends who were already in New Zealand to watch the rugby and that he would be joining them, however, when asked, he was unable to recall their names.

And the relationship between Immigration New Zealand and airlines has improved, with fewer fines being handed out.

According to the annual report, it's been processing potential infringements as part of a trial since October 2011, which eventually rolled-out to include all 19 international airlines flying into New Zealand.

The trial was to ensure procedures were up to scratch before the regime went live in July 2012.

Immigration says there has been some clear improvement, with just 111 infringements in July, compared with 342 in December 2011.

The majority were for passenger information either not being met or airline staff not checking outward ticket requirements.


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