The officials of New Zealand Immigration are currently working to verify the list of names of some Tongan Nationals who might be staying illegally in New Zealand following the wiping out by the Tongan authorities of their criminal convictions.
The New Zealand Immigration was given a list by the Tongan authorities indicating 172 names of Tongan Nationals.
Grant O’ Fee, a Tongan Police Commissioner has divulged that some Tongan police wrote letters to the immigration officials of New Zealand indicating that some of the visa applicants had no criminal records, but as a matter of fact, they had been convicted of some crimes.
The officials of the New Zealand Immigration are currently checking the information and names listed because of the possibility of duplicate records.
The procedure involves matching pertinent information like dates of birth and names to ensure that the list is correct.
According to the spokesman this procedure is being done as a top priority and they are hoping to work on with an accurate master list.
The New Zealand Immigration is being watchful to the names indicated in the list. A compliance action locating the 5 Tongans who are illegally staying in New Zealand, has already been implemented.
This includes determining their possible whereabouts or addresses, visiting their possible residences and evaluating the possibility for deportation .
The New Zealand Immigration has already started screening all citizens of Tongan who intend to go to New Zealand against the names of 172 individuals. No one in the list has been caught attempting to enter New Zealand.
The immigration will be looking for other alternatives to guarantee that robust systems are implemented regarding application of visa processing.
Currently, work and residence visa applications require a police certificate, however this is not mandated for visitor visa and other types of short term visa .
Woodhouse also stated that he was really concern about the situation and had requested the New Zealand Immigration to give priority in searching for Tongan nationals who have committed some crimes and should not stay in New Zealand.