Church Leaders Statement of Concern About Deportation of Indian Students:
To the NZ Government and Public:
As leaders in our 3 Churches we wish to publicly state our concern about the proposed deportation of several students
from India for falsification of their visa papers. We do not believe they intended to deceive the NZ government in this
“Having looked at their situation it seems to us that these students have been duped by unscrupulous immigration agents
in India. In a previous similar cases we understand that where documentation had been deemed falsified by immigration
agents then the group was allowed to stay.” Archbishop Philip Richardson said.
This points to an inconsistency in policy and an unfair treatment of this group of students.
The students were up-to- date with course fees at their educational establishments. They could not draw NZ benefits
because they are not citizens or residents. Most of them were tax-paying workers according to their visa conditions and
they were contributing to the NZ economy via their taxes, course fees and general living expenses.
We do not deny that the NZ government has a duty to carefully scrutinize immigration applications, nor that applicants
have a responsibility in regard to their applications. However these can be complicated processes and the role and
legitimacy of immigration agents also needs careful scrutiny. Immigration New Zealand seems to have erred in its
processes as well.
“We urge the government to re-consider the case of these students. We do so on the basis of concern for the human
situation of the students, our Christian responsibility to care for ‘the stranger, the widow and the orphan’ among us,
and a concern for just application of NZ’s immigration policy.” Cardinal John Dew said.
Cardinal John Dew
Archbishop of Wellington.
Archbishop Philip Richardson
Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia.
Reverend Prince Devandanan
President - the Methodist Church of New Zealand.